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SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



65 



MALTESE CAVES AND THEIR FAUNA. 

By John H. Cooke, F.L.S., F.G.S., Etc. 



\\ WHETHER regarded from an historic or from 
** a prehistoric standpoint, there is no place 
in or around the Mediterranean which is so in- 
tensely interesting to the student as the Maltese 
Islands. Within the narrow limits of its rock- 
bound shores the naturalist has furnished an 
epitome of the physical history of the greater 
portion of the Mediterranean region from Eocene 
times onward. The historian finds the quint- 
essence of the histories of the peoples who have 
been engaged in struggles for empire in the 
countries around from the time when the Phoeni- 
cians first colonized the islands, 3000 B.C., to their 
occupation by the British in the early part of 
the present century. 
The Maltese group 
consist of the Islands 
of Malta, Gozo and 
Comino, together 
with several small 
barren islets, the 
principal of which 
are Filfola and 
Cominotto. They 
are situated in the 
central Mediterra- 
nean at a distance 
of sixty miles to the 
south of Sicily and 
two hundred miles 
to the north of Cape 
Calipia, the nearest 
point in Africa. On 

the north they are connected with Sicily by a 
submarine plateau, the depth of submergence of 
• which does not exceed seventy fathoms in any 
part. To the south a deep channel, having an 
average depth of 230 fathoms, and which is 190 
miles long and from sixty to a hundred miles wide, 
forms a natural boundary between them and Africa. 
Malta is the principal island of the group both 
in size and commercial importance, its greatest 
length being seventeen miles and its greatest 
breadth ten miles. Though less fertile than Gozo, 
its population is nearly eight times as large, an 
anomaly which is principally due to the fine 
harbours, where the greater part of the population, 
military, naval and commercial, have segregated. 

Fifty years ago little or nothing was known of 
the natural history of the islands, but of late years 

* Elephas mnaidra, E. melitcnsis, E. falcoiteri, Gyps vieli- 
tensis, Cetvus barbarus, Ursus arctos, Cygnus melitensis. 
Tryonyx melitensis, Myoxus melitensis, Grus melitensis, Hippo- 
potamus pentlandi. 

August, 1898.— No. 51, Vol. V. 




Extinct Animals of Malta. 



great strides have been made, and the islands have 
upon more than one occasion furnished the key to 
some of the most important problems bearing upon 
the former physical history of the Mediterranean. 
In geology especially, the progress made has been 
most marked. The attention of geologists was first 
attracted to the islands by the cave discoveries of 
the late Admiral Spratt and the late Prof. Leith 
Adams ; and again, at a later period, by the classic 
work done by Sir John Murray, of the " Challenger," 
in showing the relationship that existed between 
the Maltese rocks and the present deep - sea 
deposits. Geological work on the islands' rocks 
was rendered all the more interesting owing to 

the differences of 
opinion that had 
been expressed as to 
the division of geo- 
logical time to which 
the Maltese strata 
should be assigned 
Spratt and Adams 
considered them as 
being of Miocene 
age, but Prof. Rupert 
Jones referred them 
to the Eocene. 
Fuchs, the eminent 
Austrian geologist, 
divides them into 
two parts, the upper 
of which he calls 
Miocene and the 
lower Oligocene. Sir John Murray, while 
agreeing with Fuchs' view, points out that a 
striking analogy exists between the microscopic 
sections of the Globigerina limestones of 
Malta and the sections of the Pliocene rocks of 
Sicily. 

During a lengthened residence in the islands 
extending over many years, I devoted much time 
to Mediterranean geology, and have thus had an 
opportunity of personally investigating the material 
on which my predecessors had based their opinions. 
Briefly summed up, it may be said that, palaeontolo- 
gically, the Maltese rocks offer strong resemblances 
to the Miocene beds of Tournay and Brittany; to 
the Black Crag of Belgium ; to the Miocene beds 
of the Vienna Basin ; to those of Dego, Calcaire, 
Belforte and San Ruffilo in Italy ; the Marine 
Molasse of Hungary ; the Sotska beds of Styria ; 
the Pectunculus beds of Hungary, and the 
Miocene of Sicily and Algeria. 



66 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The following is a tabular summary of the 
Maltese rocks and their equivalents in the Vienna 
Basin : 



seems as though but a touch is wanting to cause 
them to break away and to precipitate them 
into the valleys beneath. Examples of this kind 





Formation. 


Thickness. 


Equivalent 
Vienna Basin. 


Series. 




I. 

2. 


Quaternary Deposits 
Upper Coralline Limestone . 


. 250 feet . . 


Leithakalk 


Tortonian \ 




3- 

4- 
5- 


Greensands 

Clays 

Globigerina Limestone 


50 ,, 

30 ,, 

200 ,, 


GrunderSchichten . 

Schlier 

Horner Schichten . 


Helvetian 
• Laughian 1 


Miocene 


6. 


Lower Coralline Limestone . 


• 500 „(?). 


Solszka Schichten . . 


Aquitanian . . 


Oligocene 



The deposits thus arranged may be divided into 
three groups. 

The first is composed of ossiferous breccias and 
valley drifts, and they are analogous to the 
Quaternary deposits of Nubia, Algeria, Candia, 
Sicily and Gibraltar. 

The second comprises the various sub-divisions 
of the Upper Coralline Limestone, and resembles 
the Leithakalk of the Vienna Basin. 

The third group is made up of the remaining 
beds, and answers to the Miocene of Italy, Algeria 
and Sicily. 

The general dip of the strata is in a north-east 
and an east-north-east direction ; but in certain 
localities it has been somewhat affected by faults 
and other local displacements. In Malta the dip 
is more pronounced than in Gozo, and, as a result, 
the contours of the northern coasts of the two 
islands present some striking contrasts. The 
strata of Malta shelve off at a low angle towards 
the north ; and the shores are therefore low-lying 
and, when viewed from the sea, present a tame 
and monotonous appearance. 

In Gozo the original horizontality is more or 
less preserved, and the coast-line there consists of 
an unbroken series of precipitous cliffs that impart 
to the shore-line an effect which is both bold and 
picturesque. These cliffs are composed of Lower 
Coralline Limestone, and, rising sheer from the 
water's edge, they tower to a height of between 
300 and 400 feet above the waters of the Mediter- 
ranean. From the edges of their summits and 
falling back in gently undulating curves lie the 
Globigerina deposits, capped with sombre-coloured 
clays and golden-hued sandstones; while crowning 
the whole lay the variegated strata of the Upper 
Coralline beds, the mural precipices and craggy 
escarpments of which stand out in bold relief 
against the clear blue Mediterranean sky. 

The terraced slopes that lie between these upper 
and lower cliffs offer some remarkable examples of 
the effects that atmospheric denudation has had 
upon them. From the escarpments along the hill- 
sides of the Binjemmas, and from the faces of the 
sea and the plateaux cliffs, huge masses of partly- 
detached rocks stand out at varying angles, and so 
unstable do many of them appear to be, that it 



are very common in both islands ; but the cliffs of 
Dingli, Emtahleb, Fom-ir-Rih and St. Paul's Bay 
afford some of the best examples. Strewn along 
the bases of the escarpments in a state of the 
wildest confusion lie rock masses of every conceiv- 
able size and shape, all of which have at some 
previous time formed a part of the cliffs that now 
loom hundreds of feet above them. 

Atmospheric agencies have contributed much 
towards this scene of destruction. Of these, frost 
probably played an important part during the 
period when the greater part of Europe was 
enveloped in a " mer de glace." and when almost 
Arctic conditions of climate prevailed around the 
Mediterranean, where temperate and even semi- 
tropical conditions now exist. But it is to the 
insidious sirocco and to the action of rain on 
the clay beds that the greatest amount of the 
destruction seems to have been due. Their 
attacks upon the sands and clays that underlie 
the limestone cliffs have undermined the latter, 
and have caused the rock to split and roll down 
the slopes. At Fom-ir-Rih, Ghain Toffiha and 
Karraba there are examples of areas consisting of 
several acres that have broken off, and have sunk 
to lower levels in consequence of the eroding 
action that the underground springs have had 
upon their unstable foundations. The south and 
south-western shores of Malta appear to have been 
more subject to these landslips than any other part 
of the islands, a fact that is due to the south- 
westerly dip of the strata between Carmola and 
Fom-ir-Rih. The beds in these localities have 
therefore a tendency to slide along their dip-planes, 
and hence, when their foundations are weakened, 
fractures of considerable extent occur. The regu- 
larity with which these downthrows take place 
is strikingly shown by the Phoenician cart-tracks 
that skirt the summits of the southern cliffs. 
Many of these, after traversing the islands for 
some distance inland, trend towards the coast, and 
there break off at the very edge of the cliffs. 

Such are the main geological features of the 
islands, the appreciation of which are necessary 
for the understanding of the succeeding details of 
the subject of these papers. Like all limestone 
districts, the Maltese strata present many evidences 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



67 



of their susceptibility to the erosive action of rain 
and the atmosphere. The gorge sides and cliff 
faces are everywhere pierced with caverns and 
fissures, few of which, however, attain to any 
considerable size. This is due to the nature of 
the rocks in which they have been formed, as, 
owing to the comparative softness of the lime- 
stones, the caverns usually collapse when they 
reach a certain limit. 



Examples of the former class occur all round 
the coast lines of the islands, but they are to be 
seen to the best advantage wherever the Upper 
Coralline Limestone appears at the sea-level along 
the coast. The varied and romantic scenery of 
the western coast of Comino owes its picturesque 
character entirely to the beetling crags and 
cavernous hollows with which its shore cliffs are 
everywhere adorned. Compared with the cliffs of 




Map showing the relationship of the Maltese Islands to the Continents of Europe and Africa. 



Maltese caverns may be divided into two classes, 
those that have been formed by the mechanical 
erosion of the sea, assisted by the chemical 
processes of the atmosphere, and those that owe 
their origin to the wasting effect of rainwater 
saturated with carbon dioxide, which percolates 
through the porous strata, or obtains access 
through the fissures or along the bedding planes 
of the rock. 



Gozo and those along the south coast of Malta, 
Comino's crags may appear insignificant ; but 
their want of altitude is fully compensated for by 
the wildness of their surroundings and the pictur- 
esque groupings of their caverns and of the 
detached rock masses that lie along their bases. 
The resistless onslaught of the battering forces 
of the Gregale and the Levante, two winds that 
alternately rage in the Mediterranean during the 



D 2 



68 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



winter months, has everywhere left evidences of 
the vast amount of destruction they are capable of 
effecting. From Comino's cliffs rock masses have 
been torn away, and hurled seaward to incredible 
distances, thus forming a series of sunken reefs, 
and fastastically shaped islets, which in tempest- 
uous weather are both the refuge of the myriads of 
gulls and rock pigeons that have there made a 
home and the dread of the fishermen who eke out 
a scanty livelihood by toiling in the surrounding 
waters. It is chiefly to the north-east wind that 
these effects are due. This wind blows during the 
winter time with unremitting fury for many days 
together, and one has but to watch the huge 
breakers that are then raised and hurled against 
the cliff faces of the isles to realize the magnitude 
of their power and the amount of destruction they 
are capable of effecting. The atmosphere, too, 
takes no mean part in these operations ; but its 
efforts are chiefly confined to the softening down 
of the angularities caused by the fractures and 
displacements. 

The Maltese Islands are the only remnants now 
left of the land barrier that once stretched across 
the Mediterranean and connected Italy with Tunis. 
A comparative study of the fauna and flora of 
southern Europe and of northern Africa first 
suggested to Heer the connection that formerly 
existed between the two continents at this point ; 
and his conclusions were afterwards borne out 
by the interesting evidences that have been 
forthcoming from the breccias and bone-caves of 
Sicily and Malta. Prof. Gervais ( J ) pointed out the 
similarity that existed between the genera and 
species of the living Insectivora in the north of 
Africa and those in southern Europe ; and Prof. 
Dawson ( 2 ) observed that the porcupine of Algeria 
presents no distinctive characters of sufficient im- 
portance to justify it being regarded as a different 
species to the European one. The tailed batra- 
chians that are now found on either side of the 
Mediterranean and the persistency with which the 
birds of this region follow year after year the same 
line of migration also offer themselves as further 
evidence of the land passage that once existed 
here. The inferences to be drawn from the above 
facts have been corroborated by the work of the 
Admiralty Survey in the Mediterranean. 

Between Sicily and Malta there are two banks, 
and their elevation to a height of but forty fathoms 
would again create a passage of dry land between 
the two islands. Between Malta and the African 
coast the soundings show a depth of 344 fathoms, 
and an elevation to this extent would form a broad 
isthmus between the two continents of which Malta 
would be the centre. That such an elevation of 

(i) Gervais: "Anlmaux Vcrtebrus Vivants ct Fossiles," 
p. 48. 
( 2 ) Dawson : " Cave Hunting," p. 380. 



this part of the Mediterranean region occurred in 
time past is shown by the moraines and other 
evidences of glacial action that are now to be seen 
among the mountains of Lebanon, Anatolia^ 1 ), and 
of the Atlas. Alluding to these phenomena, 
Dawson ( 4 ) computes the elevation to have been 
between 6,000 feet and 7,000 feet, while Professors 
Ramsay and Geikie ( 5 ) consider an upheaval of 
from 1,500 feet to 2,000 feet to have been sufficient 
to have effected the same results. 

The palaeontology of the Pleistocene beds of 
Malta and of the neighbouring land areas offer 
interesting evidences on the question. The caves 
of Italy, Sicily and Malta abound with fossil 
mammals of a purely African type. The remains 
of Elephas africanus have been found in quantities 
in the caves of Syracuse, of Palermo, and of San 
Teodoro, and intermingled with them were the 
bones of two species of African hippopotami ( B ). 
The presence also of the bones and teeth of 
Elephas antiquus, and of Ursus ferox, a bear whose 
remains occur in abundance in the caves of 
Gibraltar, Provence, Mentone and Sicily, afford 
evidences of this elevation and indicate a connection 
between Sicily and Europe prior to the formation 
of the Straits of Messina. The Maltese- Sicilian 
isthmus that connected the two continents afforded 
the means for migration to animals and plants 
alike. Further, as the remains of animals of a 
distinctly African type are at the present day 
to be found in Europe, so are the remains of 
European types to be found in Africa. M. Bayle(') 
described a stratum of clay, which he found at 
Mansourah, in Algeria, and with the assistance 
of Prof. Gervais, it was shown that the remains 
found in it included the molars and bones of 
Elephas meridionalis, an elephant which in Pleis- 
tocene times had its headquarters in northern 
Italy, but which had roamed as far south as Algiers, 
by way of Malta. 

The bone breccias and caves of Malta have 
added very largely to our knowledge of the nature 
of these physical changes. The cliffs that encircle 
the islands' plateaux, and the mural escarpments 
of the gorges are honeycombed with caverns and 
fissures, many of which have yielded a rich and 
varied collection of the remains of extinct Pleis- 
tocene birds, reptiles and mammals. From the 
gorge-caverns, and from the breccias that fringe the 
south-eastern shorelines of Malta, the late Admiral 
Spratt and the late Prof. Leith Adams obtained 
the remains of three distinct species of elephants, 
Elephas mnaidra, E. melitensis and E. falconeri. The 
last was, when full grown, not larger than a donkey. 

( :1 ) " Nature," vol. v. p 444 ; vol. vi. p. 536. 
(>) Dawson : "Cave Hunting," p. 380. 

( 5 ) Ramsey, A. C. and Geikie, J.: "The Geology of Gib- 
raltar, " Quart. Jonrn. Geol. Soc, vol. xxxiv. p. 537. 
(«) Falconer: " Palaeontological Memoirs," vol. ii. p. 543. 
') Bui. Soc. Geol. Fr., 2d ser. tome xi. p. 204. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



69 



The remains of a pigmy species of hippopotamus. 
Hippopotamus pentlandi, have been found in great 
abundance in nearly every part of the island. 
The geographical range of this river horse seems to 
have extended as far east as Peloponnesus ; and 
it has been found in such quantities in the caves 
of Palermo that its remains were exported by the 
shipload for the manufacture of lamp-black. 
Bears, foxes, wolves, deer, dormice as large as 



guinea-pigs, huge tortoises equal in size to those 
now found in the Galapagos Islands, lizards 
larger than those now found in northern Africa, 
chameleons, and an assortment of the remains of 
monster swans, vultures and other birds, are a few 
of the many relics of Malta's past that have been 
unearthed from the Pleistocene deposits of the 
islands. 

(To be continued.) 



VESPA AUSTRIACA, A CUCKOO-WASP. 

By Charles Robson. 



HPOWARDS the close of 1897, as I was naming 
my few specimens of social and solitary 
bees with the aid of Mr. Saunders' beautifully 
illustrated work ( 1 ), I thought I would pass in 
review my social wasps (Vespae) in the light of his 
descriptions and illustrations of the several species. 
I had already named them, when engaged more 
especially upon their study in the early eighties, 
from Ormerod's monograph ( 2 ), than which one 
needs no better introduction and guide. Whilst 
thus occupied, great and agreeable was my surprise 
to find that I was in possession of a handsome 
perfect female, or queen, of the comparatively rare 
Vespa austriaca Panz. = arborea Smith, which had 
been taken late in July, or in the beginning of 
August, 1887, at Harnham, Northumberland, 
and from its close general resemblance to a 
young queen of V. rufa, Linn., had been put 
aside as such in my collection of unmounted 
insects. I found also a second though sadly 
mutilated female of the same species which had 
been obtained under peculiar circumstances on 
July 22nd in the same year and at the same place, 
and which was the only wasp I had that season 
mounted. Saunders in his work says (pp. 148-9) 
that " the habits of V. austriaca Panz. (= arborea 
Smith) are not yet fully understood, only males 
and females are known ; and Schmiedeknect has 
suggested the possibility of its being an inquiline 
species living with other wasps, as Psithyrus does 
with Bombus ; but at present I think there is no 
direct evidence to prove this, although the theory 
is ingenious and very far from improbable." On 
reading this I was something more than disgusted 
to find what a splendid possible opportunity I had 
lost of having been enabled to fully and satis- 
factorily determine this moot point, as well as 
having, I believe, been the first to capture the 
male of this wasp in Britain ; since heretofore, 
according to Saunders (p. 155), "only females have 

(!) "The Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Islands," 
by Edward Saunders, F.L.S., London, 1896. 

( 2 ) "British Social Wasps ; " by Edward Lathom Ormerod, 
M.D., London, 1868. 



occurred in Britain " (*). For, the above-mentioned 
dead and mutilated female or queen of the V. 
austriaca I had seen dragged out from the burrow 
leading to the nest cavity of a colony of the V. rufa 
by one of the workers, and had secured both insects 
as soon as they were wholly free of the entrance; 
though at the moment I only thought this was the 
foundress, or queen V. rufa, of the nest, which had 
died from disease or exhaustion and was thus being 
disposed of, as my notes on the subject quoted as 
follows will show. 

"July 22nd, 1887. — To-day, at 3 pm, as I sat 
by the side of the nest of the Vespa rufa in the east 
dyke of the hayfield, I observed a worker-wasp 
dragging out with much labour another wasp ; and 
on securing it and its burthen, I found the latter 
to be the headless, wingless and forelimbless 
carcase of a queen wasp, which was still soft and 
limp. Just a stump of the wings remained, they 
having obviously been bitten off. Is it the carcase 
of the foundress queen ? Has she died and 
been decapitated and otherwise mutilated in the 
endeavour to remove her from the nest ? If so, 
and other of the large, for they are here large and 
handsome, imperfect females or workers are con- 
strained to lay ova, we shall probably only have 
drone brood in time, unless perfect female or 
queen brood is already in the comb. Possibly, 
however, the queen is spent, and the colony 
nearing its consummation. Nevertheless, food is 
being carried in, and substances out, briskly ; and 
the nest is a fairly strong one. The hole of 
entrance to the nest cavity, or mouth of the burrow, 
is nearly circular, and is about three-fourths of an 
inch in diameter." 

So much for my first note on the subject. The 
nest was allowed to remain undisturbed, the in- 
tention being to secure it, if possible, later on in the 
season, when perchance it might reveal something 
interesting relating to parihenogenesis, illustrated 
in this instance by the development of male or 

( 3 ) We believe a male of this wasp was taken by the Rev 
O. Pickard-Cambridge in Dorsetshire and recorded Septem- 
ber, iBc,6 (vol. vii. p. 2:2, Ent. Mon. Mag.).— J. T. C.j 



7° 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



drone brood from the unfertilized ova deposited by 
the worker wasps of the community. From former 
observations I was fully convinced that ova were 
laid in what Ormerod styles "secondary" nests, 
i.e. nests built after the original ones with their 
queen had been destroyed by the worker wasps, 
not only of the present species, but also of the 
V. briiannica and the V. sylvestris. Further, that 
from such ova larvae might hatch out. How- 
ever, circumstances induced me to take this nest 
much too soon to admit of anything definite 
being made out respecting this phase of partheno- 
genesis, except the fact that ova had been laid 
by one or more of the worker wasps, and that 
some of the tinier larvae, at least, had in all pro- 
bability been hatched from such ova. 

My next note runs : " August 2nd, 1887. — On 
July 22nd (eleven days ago) I observed a queen 
rufous wasp (Vespa rufa), dead and mutilated, 
being borne out by a worker from a nest of this 
species in the east dyke of the hay field. To-day I 
have dug into the hedge-bank and discovered the 
nest, no wasps either coming or going whilst I 
was thus engaged. The nest, only a small one, 
was built well back into the hedge-bank. The 
burrow leading to it was nearly circular, of 
uniform diameter, and about three- fourths of an 
inch wide. It is nearly spherical, somewhat drawn 
out at the bottom, and is three and ahalf inches in 
diameter, with the circular hole of entrance a little 
on one side at the bottom, scarcely three-eighths 
of an inch diameter on the outside, and not more 
than a quarter of an inch diameter on the inside. 
In fact, the hole on the inner side of the nest or case 
would no more than admit the passage of the queen 
wasp. The nest was attached to the very abundant 
fibrous roots of the grasses at the summit, and on 
the inner side towards the summit of the nest- 
cavity. So firmly was the nest secured to the 
roots on the inner side in its upper part, that the 
walls there were torn away when it was very 
carefully drawn out of its cavity. At the bottom 
and in the front part of the nest cavity there was, 
as is always the case when the cavity has to be 
mined out to admit of the gradual growth of the 
nest, an equal space between it and the nest large 
enough to allow the wasps to creep around on the 
outside of their nest in their operations of mining 
and building. The nest contains only two tiers or 
platforms of comb, the uppermost one being two 
and ahalf inches diameter and the lower one two 
inches diameter. Both tiers are near upon circular. 
In it were four young queens, or perfect females, 
quite recently emerged from their cells, forty-four 
drones, or males, and a few workers. In all I 
obtained twenty-one workers in and at the nest, 
many returning after the nest was dug out. No old, 
or foundress, queen was present ; hence the defunct 
one carried out of this nest on the 22nd July was 



undoubtedly she. From the present condition of 
the colony I should imagine that she was spent, 
since the innermost twelve cells of the bottom 
tier of comb are queen cells, and the next forty 
cells are, from their smaller size and less 
height, obviously drone cells ; whilst the succeed- 
ing gradually-decreasing-in-size larvae, from full- 
grown within to very small without, are probably 
also drone brood. The four central cells or 
cocoons are vacated undoubtedly by the four 
young queens found in the nest. Of the forty 
cocooned drone cells immediately succeeding the 
queen cells none are vacated. The four central 
vacated queen cells again contain ova, one to 
each ; hence there can be no doubt that one or 
more of the workers or imperfect females have 
laid ova. Possibly the smaller larvae in the 
rudimentary cells at the perimeter or extreme 
margin of the comb are also from worker ova, if 
not some of the larger larvae nearer the centre of 
the tier. None of the cells in this tier that now 
contain larvae or pupae have been before tenanted, 
but are occupied for the first time only. Hence, the 
upper and earlier-built tier of comb must have given 
birth to the numerous drones present. The larvae 
have their ventral surface and mandibles directed 
towards the centre of the comb ; and they are 
very decidedly buff in colour, sometimes even in- 
clining to orange, as is usual with this species of 
wasp. All are healthy and lively. In the upper 
tier of comb one-half of the cells are vacated, very 
many contain drone nymphs or pupae ; whilst some, 
both within and without, at the margin, again 
contain larvae. There are some small rudimentary, 
never-before-used cells on the perimeter, a few of 
which contain tiny living larvae, and others the 
dried-up remains of tiny larvae or ova, probably 
both. On the margin of the second or lower tier 
of comb are similar cells with similar contents ; 
hence it is exceedingly probable that a worker or 
workers have deposited ova in these outermost 
cells that are thus occupied. This nest, or colony, 
is, notwithstanding the death of its foundress queen, 
still in full swing, though the workers are few ; 
but it has apparently reached its full limits. 
Eleven of the forty-four drones have quite recently 
emerged from their cells or cocoons ; but the 
workers are all old, as they are well-matured. 
Hence, there being no vacated drone cocoons in 
the second or lower tier of comb, and the four 
central vacated queen cells are empty for the first 
time,, it is obvious enough that the numerous drones 
must have emerged from the top tier, and that 
from these same cells must have emerged the 
workers at an earlier stage. No pupae or nymphs 
of workers are present." 

This particular nest of the Vcspa tufa I preserved, 
along with a few others taken subsequently, as well 
as a goodly selection of the wasps appertaining 






SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



7i 



thereto, packed in layers in boxes, between sheets 
of blotting-paper, for the purpose of comparison 
and study, and brought away when I returned 
home in the middle of August. Unfortunately, 
a removal from town to country, and from a 
dry house to a damp, followed by a long period 
during which it was impossible so much as even to 
look over my collections, resulted in moth and 
mite and mould and woodlouse (Atropos) making 
such havoc amongst them all that nearly the 
whole were lost ; in fact, only a sorry remnant 
was left, and the labour of very many years 
was more or less entirely wasted. Fortunately, 
however, though all the wasps layered in boxes 
were thrown away, most of my wasps' nests were 
retained, or as much of them as their would-be 
destroyers had left, and were again carefully baked 
in an oven to destroy the pests and preserve the 
remnant. Otherwise the following observations 
on the relationship existing between the V. austriaca 
and the V , rufa would have been impossible. 

On thinking over the subject of the possible 
parasitism of the V. austriaca upon other species 
of Vespae, as suggested by Schmiedeknect, it 
seemed most probable that, such being the case, 
the rufous wasp (V . rufa), with its milder temper 
and frequent comparatively small communities, 
would be the more likely of the species to have 
thus imposed upon it the rearing of the brood of 
the cuckoo-wasp. The imposition would be 
assisted by the close general resemblance of the 
parasite to the host — of the pseudo Vespa to the 
true Vespa. Further, where from the loss of the 
queen, from accident or disease, the main-guard to 
prevention of access to the cells was removed, there 
would probably be little if any opposition on the 
part of the workers to prevent the parasite from 
attaining her ends, as the probability is they 
might not even detect the fraud. In this case it 
would be but an instance of one individual enter- 
ing in upon the labours of another and utilizing 
them for its own benefit. Such would be of not 
infrequent occurrence in the parasitism existing 
between the V . austriaca and other species of Vespae, 
as it undoubtedly would be in the similar form of 
parasitism existing between the pseudo humble- 
bees (Psithyri) and the true humble-bees (Bombi). 
This scarce admits of a doubt, since vast numbers 
of both queen Vespae and queen Bombi are 
destroyed annually, and their nests thus left open 
to the intrusion of their several inquilines and 
enemies. 

Consequently, it was not without some little 
feeling of excitement that I began to examine the 
nest of the Vespa rufa, from which I had seen borne, 
fully ten years previously, the mutilated carcase of 
a female V. austriaca, to find what it might possibly 
reveal about the latter species of wasp as an 
inquiline. I commenced on the eight large and 



perfect female or queen cocoons in the central 
region of the second and lower tier of comb which 
surrounded the four already vacated similar cells 
in the very centre. My delight and satisfaction 
may be imagined at rinding, as cap after cap of the 
several cocoons or cells was cut open, that beneath 
them lay concealed the heads of perfect females 
or queen Vespa austriaca, with their characteristic 
yellow-scaped antennae and three-spotted " sub- 
dentate " clypeus. At least in six instances this 
was so out of the eight ; and in three of these the 
imago was fully developed, with wings expanded 
and all parts of the body divested of the pupal 
pellicle, having been, when death overtook them, 
on the eve of emergence from their several cells or 
cocoons. The seventh nymph, or pupa, had had 
its head entirely consumed, and the thorax with 
appendages much disfigured by one or more of 
the pests of collections already enumerated, but the 
abdomen was intact, and its colours and characters 
were unquestionably those of V. austriaca. The 
eighth nymph was much younger, and its colours 
were not yet evolved ; but there is no reason 
whatever to doubt that it, too, is an austriaca, as 
would be in all probability the four young females 
that were in the nest when it was taken on 
August 2nd, 1887, which had but recently emerged 
from the four vacated central cells. 

Turning my attention now to the male or drone 
cocoons immediately succeeding and surrounding 
the female cells, I found many of them to contain 
the distinguishable remains of njmphsor pupae; 
but in none of even the furthest developed of these 
pupae had there yet been any evolution of the 
colours, whilst many of them had had their in- 
mates reduced to powder by mites and mould. On 
the extreme margin of the series one or more of 
the spinning-up larvae had not yet got finished 
the silken cap or covering to the cell when the 
nest was taken, and they were destroyed. 

Next laying open and examining the numerous 
drone cells occupying an intermediate zone of two 
and three cells' depth in the upper tier of comb, 
they were found in several instances to contain 
drones of the V. rufa, with their colours and 
distinctive markings fully evolved, and in two 
instances at least with the wings expanded and 
body freed of the pupal pellicle. In other cases 
the pupae were younger, and their colours were 
not yet evolved ; whilst in very many the inmates 
of the cocoons were more or less reduced to shreds 
and dust. The wonder perhaps is that anything in 
the shape of wasps remained after so long an 
interval and under such circumstances. 

Thus far I had been disappointed in my search 
for identifiable remains of the male sex of th 
V. austriaca; and there now only remained a 
much broken zone of one cell depth of unvacated 
cccoons on the outer edge of this, the upper tier 



7 2 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



of comb. Here, however, at last, was ample 
reward ; for though their number did not exceed a 
score, the inmates of a dozen of them had their 
colours and marking sufficiently evolved to clearly 
distinguish them as of the species V. austriaca. 
Four of them, indeed, had their wings expanded 
and body divested of the pupal pellicle. As with 
the females, so it was with the males, the dis- 
tinctive character of the clypeus, when the cap 
of the cocoon was cut open and the head of the 
occupant revealed, at once indicated the species, 
it being here immaculate and with its lower margin 
" sub-dentate." 

From the foregoing inventory of this small nest 
of the V. rufa, in part made when the nest was 
taken and in part subsequently, it would appear 
either that some fatality had overtaken the foundress 
queen at an early period in the history of the 
community, that one or more of the workers had 
then commenced to lay ova from which male or 
drone brood developed, and that subsequently the 
parasitic or inquiline V. austriaca took possession 
of the nest, and commenced to oviposit in conjunc- 
tion with the workers of V. rufa; or, that the 
queen V. rufa, being imperfectly impregnated, or 
diseased, had commenced early to lay unfertilized 
ova from which drone brood only was evolved, and 
had then succumbed to natural decay, disease or 
accident, or had possibly lost its life in combat 
with the usurping and succeeding austriaca, and 
had finally, like its successor, been dragged out of 
the nest. That workers of the V. rufa had de- 
posited ova in the later part of the history of this 
mixed community was obvious enough from the 
presence of ova in the four very recently vacated 
queen cells. That the nest had been founded by a 
queen V. rufa was also obvious from the fact of 
workers and drones of that species being present, 
as well as from the structure of the nest. Whilst 
the fact of V. austriaca having usurped the nest and 
utilized the energies of the workers of V. rufa in 
rearing her brood of males and perfect females, 
was made more than apparent by the presence of 
that brood, and the fact of the economy of the 
nest being normally carried on for fully eleven 
days after her decease, and the removal of her 
body from it. 

Vespa austriaca being thus shown to be a parasitic 
or inquiline species consisting of males and females 
only, it will be scarcely philosophic to allow it to 
remain in the genus Vespa. This difference in 
habit and constitution will almost certainly be 
found to be correlated with some more or less 
profound modification of structure. Such is the 
case in Psithyrus (Apathus Newman), undoubtedly 
a degenerate and modified Bombus. The same 
habit and constitution of .parasitism and sex ar% 
found to be correlated with an absence of the bee- 
bread conveying apparatus or corbicula and the 



wax-plate extractors or nippers. The loss of the 
latter, most probably accompanied with a de- 
generacy or absence of the wax-secreting glands or 
organs, disqualifies this pseudo Bombus for the 
building of cells, as the lack of the former does for 
the conveyance of food. Consequently it is also 
disqualified for the rearing of its own young, as is 
practised by the host, the true Bombus, upon which 
it imposes the rearing of its progeny. 

Given a sufficient quantity of fresh material — 
healthy spring females — to work upon, it would be 
probably found that there was some very con- 
siderable deterioration of the salivary glands, as 
compared with the true Vespae, which incapacitates 
austriaca, the pseudo Vespa, for paper-making. 
Saliva is the first essential towards the founding 
or building the nest as constructfd by the genus 
Vespa. The demands upon the functional powers 
and activity of the saliva or mucus-secreting 
organs must be great indeed, as may readily be 
appreciated by watching a Vespa engaged in rasp- 
ing or gnawing off fibres of wood from a weathered 
but sound pale or post. It has to moisten liberally 
the portion operated upon with the secretion 
as the process of gnawing proceeds ; consider 
also the demands that are necessarily made upon 
them in the subsequent working up of the pellet 
of fibres into paper pulp, and in its application to 
the case or covering and cells of the nest. Hence, 
the parasitism of this wasp austriaca upon Vespa, 
from whom one need scarcely question she has 
descended, and from whom she will most probably 
be gradually more and more differentiated as a 
result of this different mode of life. In her we 
have an example of a comparatively recent or 
modern differentiation or evolution of a species 
and genus, a genus, so far as I am aware, yet to 
be named, and rightly founded on this difference 
in habit and constitution. The most probable 
correlated modification of structure will be, that 
the mandibles are somewhat smaller and less 
rugged, and the ligula or tongue is smaller than 
in the V. rufa. 

Frederick Smith, in his description of V. 
arborea ( 4 ), of which he was the discoverer in Great 
Britain, thus describes it in 1837 : " The same size 
as V. rufa, female, and similarly coloured, but 
having very rarely any tinge of rufous; the clypeus 
more produced, emarginate, and the angles sub- 
dentate, never having a central line, but only 
three minute dots ; it also differs from V. rufa in 
having the legs stouter, longer, and very pubes- 
cent ; the colour of the abdomen is different, being 
sulphur-yellow ; the crown-shaped spot above the 
clypeus is larger, and deeply notched above ; the 

(') "Catalogue o! British Fossorial Hymenoptera, Fortni- 
cidae and Vespidae, in the collection of the British 
Museum," by Frederick Smith: London, 1858. The name 
austtiaca, of Panzer, was given last century to this species, so, 
being the earlier, supersedes Smith's arborea. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



73 



first segment of the abdomen is visibly longer." 
This is an exact description of the female V. 
austtiaca, to which might perhaps be added that 
the greater degree of pubescence on the legs 
applies to the outer side of all the tibiae. These 
are clothed with long black pubescence, similar 
to that clothing other parts of the insect, but 
which is not present on the tibiae of V. rufa. 
The puncturation on all parts is finer, but 
more especially observable on the clypeus and 
the four posterior abdominal segments ventrally. 
The apical ventral segment or plate is more 
parallel-sided, and is somewhat contracted or 
shouldered before the emarginate apex. The 
mandibles are smaller and less rugged, the clypeus 
is smaller, and of less width across the apex ; and 
the ligula or tongue is very distinctly smaller than 
than in V. rufa. The abdomen is more spindle- 
shaped, due in part to the greater length and the 
contraction anteriorly of the first abdominal seg- 
ment. Then there is the greater comparitive width 
of the second segment, and the first abdominal 
segment is less abruptly truncate at the base than 
in V. rufa. The scape of the antennae is yellow in 
front, and the three black dots on the middle of 
the clypeus are arranged in a triangle. Length 
is o 70 inch. 

In the male austtiaca the scape of the antennae 
is also yellow in front ; but the clypeus is 
immaculate, and its lower angles, though still den- 
tate, are less produced. The pubescence on the 
outer side of the tibiae is sparser, and the black 
spot on the middle of the first abdominal segment, 
instead of being button-shaped, as in the female, is 
lozenge-shaped. All other points of difference 
enumerated as existing between the female Vespa 
austtiaca and V. rufa exist also between their 
respective males ; except in the form of the apical 
ventral plate of the abdomen and the puncturation 
of the abdomen ventrally, which is absent in the male 
austtiaca, and is of varying intensity in the male 
rufa, though never so abundant or so coarse as in the 
female form of that species. Length is 0-50 inch. 

The genital armature pretty closely resembles 
that of the male V. rufa, but is not identical with 
it ; the entire organ is narrower and much more 
parallel-sided. The stipites are more closely 
approximated in the median line dorsally, whilst 
the semi-membranous ear-like appendage at their 
apex is larger and stands outwards at a greater 
angle. The scoop-like united sagittae closely 
resembles the same part in the V. rufa — is parallel- 
sided, rounded at apex, and with the convex side 
Upwards or dorsally set ; whereas in V. vulgaris and 
V. germannica the united sagittae form a ladle-like 
instrument, the head or cup of which has the 
convex side downwards or ventrally set. 

Killittgworth, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

July, 1898. 



PISIDIUM NITIDUM 

var. LATERALIS. 

By C. S. Coles. 

T N April last I took from a small weedy pond 
near here a number of a Pisidium which I 
considered to be P. niiidum ; but not being satisfied 
as to their identity, I submitted examples to Mr. 
L. E. Adams, of Stafford, for his opinion of them. 
That gentleman has informed me that they are 
really nitidum, but not of the typical form, differing 
therefrom in not being sufficiently round at the 
lower margin, and the umbones not central enough. 
That opinion has been confirmed by Mr. Taylor,' 
of Leeds, who has also examined the specimens. 

I have since visited the pond, and found the 
shells tolerably abundant, some of them of large 
size, but all preserving the above characteristics. 
The typical form was not obtained. 

I propose for the above variety of P. niiidum the 
name of lateraiis. 

I observed that the finest specimens inhabited a 
small grassy cutting at the margin of the pond, 
where the water scarcely covered the bottom, in 
which the scoop could only be worked with diffi- 
culty, and amongst my captives were a fair 
sprinkling of P. roseum, many of them being also 
of large size, and these frequented the same 
cutting as the former species. 

The only other mollusca inhabiting the pond, as 
far as I have investigated it, are Planorbis complanatus 
(common) and Sphaerium lacustris, together with a 
solitary specimen of Helix hispida, which put in an 
appearance amongst the weeds, etc., dragged from 
near the centre of the pond. That may, however, 
easily have travelled to where it was found, from 
the margin, along the weedy surface, and thence 
into my scoop. 

Hoe Moor House, Hambledon, Hants. 
June, 1898. 



Collecting with Surface Net. — Prof. C. A. 
Kofoid, says "Science," has recently been dis- 
cussing the Hensen method of collecting. This 
method of sweeping the plankton consists essentially 
in drawing a silk net vertically through the water. 
Its accuracy depends upon the efficiency of the 
silk in really catching the organisms. Experiments 
at the Illinois Biological Station show, however, 
that the leakage is great. The method is satis- 
factory only for the larger forms, such as the 
Entomostraca and the larger Rotifera and Protozoa. 
For the smaller and oiten very abundant " plank- 
tonts," such as Melosira, Pcridinium, Dinobrvon, 
Raphidium, Sccnedcsmus, Euglena, Tiachelomona and 
Chlamydomonas, the Hensen method is wholly 
inadequate. Of 767,556,000 planktonts retained by 
the Berkefeld filter per cubic metre, only 248,200 
organisms per cubic metre were retained in the 
silk net. This loss by leakage, says Prof. Kofoid, is 
of prime importance, for it is composed very 
largely of minute algae, which constitute a 
fundamental link in aquatic life. — /. H. Cooke. 



74 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



ARMATURE OF HELICOID LANDSHELLS. 
By G. K. Gude, F.Z.S. 

(Continued from p. zy.) 



pLECTOPYLIS repercussa (figs. 78(1-1), from 
Tavoy, Burma, was described by Dr. Gould in 
the " Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural 
History," vi. (1856), p. 11 ; but as the diagnosis is 
somewhat vague and as the species was not illus- 
trated, subsequent authors have considered it to be 
synonymous with P. achatina, from which species, 
however, it differs in outward appearance as well 
as in its armature. The shell is sinistrorse, disk- 
shaped, pale corneous, finely striated, the upper 



raised flexuous ridge, slightly notched above and 
below at the junctions. The parieta armature is 
very complicated, being of the same type as in 
Pkctopylis karenorum, described and illustrated in 
this series of papers (Science-Gossip, N.S. iii. 
Feb. 1897, p. 245, f. 35). These two species, 
together with Pkctopylis achatina, P. anguina and P. 
linterae, to be considered afterwards, form a distinct 
group, connected with the group of P. ponsonhyi 
by a transition form, represented by a single 









^^tl^^^^^ 


ffi ^*Ijj^$ % > 89 




t 




>B 



Fig. 78. — Pkctopylis repercussa. 



side being strongly decussated by spiral lines, 
almost obsolete at the side, but reappearing in the 
umbilical region. The spire is a little raised, the 
suture linear. There are seven regularly coiled 
whorls, which increase slowly and gradually, and 
are flattened above and tumid below. The last 
whorl is tricarinated, one keel being at the periphery, 
one above, and another below (in young shells these 
keels are provided with a fringe of coarse hairs) ; this 
whorl widens suddenly at the aperture, where it is 
deeply deflected. The aperture is almost horizontal, 
elliptic cordate; the peristome white, thickened, 
and strongly reflected ; the margins united by a 



specimen as yet undescribed, received by me 
from Mr. Robert Cairns, of Hurst, Ashton- 
under-Lyne. A long, stout, horizontal median 
fold, given off at the apertural ridge, proceeds 
parallel with the last whorl for a quarter 
of the length of that whorl, when it gives off a 
shortly descending, slightly reflected arm, provided 
anteriorly at the lower extremity with a short, 
abruptly descending horizontal ridge; the fold 
then rises obliquely for a short distance, and finally 
bifurcates ; the loiver arm of the bifurcation the shorter, 
and descending almost vertically ; it is provided 
posteriorly with a short horizontal ridge at its 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



75 



lower extremity ; the upper arm at first ascends 
obliquely, then proceeds horizontally close to the 
suture, and gradually attenuates. Below these 
complicated structures, there is a free, thin, hori- 
zontal fold close to and parallel with the lower 
suture, and extending from the aperture to a little 
beyond the lower arm of the bifurcation and its 
posterior support (see fig. j8e, which shows part 
of the parietal wall). At the aperture this 
fold is distinctly united to the transverse sinuous ridge 
(see fig. j8d). The palatal armature consists of: 
first, a strong long horizontal fold near the suture 
and parallel with it, as well as with the posterior 
portion of the upper arm of the parietal bifurca- 
tion, with which it terminates at the same point 
posteriorly ; secondly, a shorter, but much stronger 
and broader horizontal fold, which deflects with a 



terior half, with the concave side facing the vertical 
plate (see fig. 78/, enlarged, which shows the inner 
side of the palatal wall with its folds and denticles). 
Figs. 78^—1 (also enlarged) show an immature speci- 
men of five and a-half whorls, in Mr. Ponsonby's 
collection ; the armature is almost identical with 
that of the mature specimens, but the main median 
parietal fold is very short and does not rise from 
the aperture, while the denticle in front of the lower 
part of the palatal vertical plate is very strongly 
developed, and it is united to the plate, so as 
to form a steep ridge. A second set of barriers, 
identical in every respect except in being a little 
smaller, occurs in this specimen one-quarter of 
a whorl further back. The mature specimen 
shown in fig. jSd is also in the collection of Mr. 
Ponsonby, and measures: major diameter, 31 milli- 







Fig. yg.—Plectopylis anguina. 



sharp curve posteriorly, having a little above its 
posterior termination, and almost in a line with its 
anterior portion, a slight elongated horizontal 
denticle ; thirdly, a very short, but strong and 
broad crescent-shaped fold, deflected at both 
extremities ; fourthly, facing the concave side of 
the last-mentioned fold, is a very strong and broad 
vertical plate, strongly inclined towards the aper- 
ture, with a much reflexed and thickened edge; 
this plate intercalates between the two lower arms 
of the parietal armature ; on the posterior side of 
the plate and near its lower extremity occurs a 
stout little denticle, and a little lower and still farther 
back is found a slight elongated swelling, not 
amounting to a fold or denticle (yet present in all 
four mature specimens, as well as in an immature 
one, examined by me) ; fifthly, a thin horizontal fold, 
the anterior part straight, but curved in the pos- 

D 



metres ; minor diameter, 24 millimetres ; altitude, 
9 millimetres ; while the immature specimen 
measures 17 millimetres in diameter. Three 
specimens in my collection measure respectively 
29 : 23 : 9 millimetres, 25 : 20 : 85 millimetres, 
23 : 18 : 75 millimetres. The types of the species 
are in the New York State Museum, at Albany, 
N.Y., and are shown in figs. y8a-c, which are 
reproduced from the photograph kindly supplied 
by Dr. Merrill. The following particulars are 
taken from Dr. Bagg's notes which accompanied 
the photographs : " Helix repercussa, Gould. Bur- 
mah. Catalogue No., 236; original No., A 564. 
Major diameter, ij inch [= 28-5 millimetres]; 
minor diameter, J inch [=22 millimetres] ; alti- 
tude, ^ inch [=8 millimetres] ; greatest diameter 
of aperture, ^ inch [= 11 millimetres]." Dr. 
Gould states that the species was taken in the 

4 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Mergui Archipelago, but as this has never been 
confirmed it may be assumed that the collector, 
the Rev. J. Benjamin, made a mistake as to the 
locality. Mr. W. T. Blanford gives also the 
following localities : Moulmain and Tenasserim (in 
" British Burma Gazetteer," 1879, i. p. 709). 

Plectopylis anguina (figs. 79a-/), from Tavoy, Burma, 
was described by Dr. Gould in the " Proceedings 
of the Boston Natural History Society," ii. (1847), 
p. 218 ; and it was figured in Hanley and Theo- 
bald's " Conchologia Indica," t. 13, f. 7. By 
some authorities this species has been considered 
identical with P. achatina. It appears, however, 
to be perfectly distinct. The shell is sinistral, much 
flattened, discoid, varying in colour from corneous 
to dark chestnut ; below it is usually paler and 
flammulated with dark chestnut ; it is finely striated 
and decussated by microscopic spiral lines. The 
spire is depressed, the suture linear. There are five 
and a-half regularly coiled whorls, which increase 
slowly and gradually ; they are a little flattened 
above and a little rounded below. The last whorl 
is slightly angulated at the periphery ; it widens 
rather suddenly at the aperture, and is deeply 
deflected in front, and somewhat constricted behind 
the peristome. The umbilicus is extremejy shallow ; 
in a specimen in my collection it is only 1-5 milli- 
metre in depth. The aperture is nearly horizontal, 
cordate ; the peristome is livid or pale brown, a 
little thickened and much reflexed. A sinuous 
raised ridge on the parietal wall at the aperture 
connects the margins of the peristome ; at the 
junctions above and below, however, there are 
slight notches. The armature is similar in most 



respects to that of P. repercussa, but it is less solid 
and heavy, the lower arm of the bifurcation on the 
parietal wall is longer than the upper, and the thin 
free horizontal fold near the lower suture is not 
united to the ridge at the aperture and does not 
proceed beyond the lower arm of the bifurcation, as it 
does in P. repercussa. The upper fold of the 
palatal armature is much shorter than in 
P. repercussa, terminating posteriorly at the same 
point as the shorter upper arm of the parietal 
bifurcation ; the second and fifth horizontal palatal 
folds are much shorter anteriorly than in P. 
repercussa ; while the vertical palatal plate (the 
fourth) is broader, but less stout and less inclined 
towards the aperture than is the case in that species. 
The specimen shown in figs. jqd and e is from 
Moulmain, and is in my collection. It measures : 
major diameter, 28 millimetres ; minor diameter, 
22 millimetres ; altitude, 7-5 millimetres. Mr. Blan- 
ford has also recorded the species from Tenasserim 
("British Burma Gazetteer" (1879), i. p. 709), 
while Mr. Nevill mentions Kuengan ("Hand-list," 
p. 72). Mr. Ponsonby possesses two specimens from 
Sgwagakin, Salween Valley, measuring 25 milli- 
metres in diameter. Figs, jga-c are reproduced 
from photographs of Dr. Gould's type specimens 
in the New York State Museum. Dr. Bagg has 
supplied the following notes respecting them : 
"Helix anguina, Gould. Catalogue No., 251; 
original No., A 558. The shell is somewhat 
banded by brownish and white alternating, but not 
in all specimens." Fig. 79/ shows the posterior 
aspect of the parietal and palatal armatures. 

(To be continued.) 



ORIGIN OF SPECIES IN INSECTS. 
By J. W. Tutt, F.E.S. 

(Continued from p. 44.) 



On the Origin of Species. 
A GREAT change in the environment of a species, 
"^ locally, produces in that district a local race. 
It matters not whether the change be one of 
climate, food-supply, introduction of new enemies, 
or geological change, so long as it is sufficiently 
marked to affect the species injuriously under the 
new conditions. Given these conditions, and the 
injury will result in extermination, unless some 
structural or functional modification be developed 
in the species which will enable it to combat the 
disabilities under which it now lives, and, in time, 
to succeed under the new conditions. We have 
already seen that a recent change in the environ- 
ment of certain Lepidoptera has resulted in the 
development of a maximum of black scales, so that 
the colour of the insect may respond to its new 
environment. We have also seen that this change 



of colour is simply a change in the proportion of 
the black scales (always present in the species) 
developed. The change then must take place by 
the modification of the different variable factors 
that play around what we may term the " mean " 
of any structural part of the insect. It must be 
evident that from these variable factors alone 
can utility obtain the materials that it moulds 
into those lines which will fit the species to its 
new environment. Survival of the fittest in the 
required direction or directions goes on year by 
year, and thus the species is maintained under the 
new conditions. 

Little further insight is needed to see that more 
than one modification may be necessary, and that 
under a complex series of change divergent races 
might be formed, each specially suited for success 
in different directions ; whilst the original type of 






SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



77 



the species might become extinct. In this way we 
obtain the beginnings, as it were, of new species, 
which may take a vast period of time before 
they become thoroughly differentiated from each 
other. The more rapidly and sharply certain 
peculiarities separate them, especially peculiari- 
ties of the genital organs, the more rapidly 
would their complete separation as species be 
brought about. 

Specialization of Genital Organs. 
There appears, however, to be no reason what- 
ever why changes of the genital organs should take 
place under changing conditions of environment, 
such as those just suggested, nor why changes in 
the genital organs should accompany other changes 
necessary for greater speed, better concealment, or 
other habit now assumed to be a matter of necessity 
to the species. It is evident that the safety of 
insects depends primarily upon colour (protective or 
warning), speed, nauseous excretions, development 
of fascicles of hair in place of simple tubercles, 
waving flagella, osmateria, discharges of acid and 
gaseous matters and similar factors, rather than on 
changes, either in structure or function, of the 
internal organs. All or any of the various changes 
just enumerated may be effected without the 
slightest change in the structure of the genital 
organs, and hence it is possible for new species to 
be developed with distinct and conspicuous ex- 
ternal characters, either in the imaginal, or pupal, 
or larval, or oval stages, or in all or any of these 
stages, without any very great modification being 
necessary in the genital organs. These external 
characters may be most marked and in every 
respect specific, as we understand the term. Yet 
the possibility of successful pairing and the pro- 
duction of fertile ova between the supposed allies 
may always be present. 

Variation in Genital Organs. 
That there is usually some well-marked difference 
presented by the male genital organs of closely 
allied species is well known. That these same 
organs, within the limits of a clearly-defined single 
species, often offer considerable variation, is also 
well known. That species with very distinct- 
looking male genitalia, such as those presented by 
Anthrocera filipendulae and A. ttifolii, will pair and 
produce hybrid progeny is an ascertained fact. 
One is uncertain, therefore, how much structural 
difference is necessary to prevent successful pairing 
between, and the production of fertile eggs by, 
two allied species. So little actual experiment in 
this direction has been performed that one is 
inclined to reject the statements laid down as 
veritable axioms, such as one repeatedly finds 
relating to this point in the works of even our best 
naturalists. 



Sterility not a Specific Distinction. 
No one can read Darwin's remarks on 
" hybridity," in the " Origin of Species," without 
recognizing that he was not at all clear how far 
fertility between allied species was general or the 
reverse. He was, however, evidently quite clear 
that the ability of two forms to cross and to 
produce fertile progeny did not render them any 
the less two quite distinct species. Yet he assumed 
that between first crosses there was a tendency 
to sterility, and that in the intercrossing of the 
hybrids there was a still greater tendency in this 
direction. In spite of this, cases are cited by him 
in which hybrid plants were as fertile as the 
parent species. He also cites the well-known case 
of Phasianus colchicus and P. torquatus, and the case 
of the Indian humped ox being perfectly fertile 
with the common ox, in each instance the hybrids 
also being fertile. When one considers the diffi- 
culties of breeding animals artificially, the ill 
effects of in-breeding, the individual idiosyncrasies 
of each animal, the thousand and one difficulties 
that have to be surmounted in order only to attain 
a fair amount of success when breeding the same 
species, it appears evident that we require much 
more detailed information before any very sweep- 
ing generalizations may be formulated. 

Incipient Species and Partial Sterility. 

Even Wallace lays it down as a law that, when 
two incipient species are in process of formation, 
one condition of their differentiation as distinct 
species necessitates " some amount of infertility 
when crossed with the parent form or with each 
other." Now, it appears to me, once the power is 
granted for certain species to be able to hybridise 
freely, somewhat illogical to insist on this as a 
general principle, and, I must confess that, although 
I can see the advantage to the incipient forms 
should such a condition arise, yet I do not at all 
follow the necessity for it. Wallace supports his 
view by asserting that the danger of a species, 
placed under new and adverse conditions, so that 
it cannot adapt itself to them with sufficient 
rapidity, is much increased if crossing with the 
parent form is not checked and afterwards com- 
pletely prevented except as a very occasional 
occurrence. He looks upon the means of pre- 
venting intercrossing as being three in number ; 
(i) infertility ; (2) the presence of " recognition 
marks " or external distinctions leading to the 
preferential mating of similar forms ; (3) physical 
isolation. He believes that the latter is of little 
importance, because the majority of new species 
must arise in the midst of the population of 
existing species. He thinks, further, that mutual 
infertility would be usually brought about by 
natural selection wherever the two forms were in 
contact ; also that the early occurrence of well' 



78 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



marked differences would assist greatly in the 
rapidity of adaptation. 

Value of Recognition Marks. 

The value of these "recognition marks" is 
probably of some importance in many species, yet 
the presence of such marks does not prevent the 
crossing of such species as Smerin tints ocellatus and 
S. populi, of Amphidasys strataria and A. betularia, of 
Ennomos quercinavia (angularia) and E. autumnaria, 
when opportunity offers. Still, there can be no 
doubt that, in Lepidoptera. specialization of andro- 
conial scales, scent tufts, and similar structures 
may have much to do with the usual natural 
mating of species, especially in view of our present 
knowledge of the sight of insects, and the doubt 
that may naturally arise as to their want of ability 
to discriminate small and trifling colour marks, 
such as those which usually exist between two very 
closely allied species. Nor is the colour sense of 
insects sufficiently defined to prevent the pairing of 
a perfectly normal specimen of A . betularia with a 
perfectly melanic aberration of the species, nor 
the correct pairing of the various forms of a poly- 
morphic species like Cidaria immanata. It would 
appear certain, therefore, that the correct pairing 
of species in nature among Lepidoptera is often due 
to causes other than recognition marks, however 
important a part they may play in certain cases. 

Isolation. 

Although I do not see that mutual infertility 
would be, as Wallace asserts, brought about by 
natural selection wherever two incipient species 
were in contact, yet it is quite clear that, in some 
way, nature must prevent their crossing, if a new 
form, or forms, is to be differentiated. Now, it is 
quite clear that, to prevent this, isolation of some 
kind must occur. After a careful consideration of 
the matter, it appears to me that, among Lepidop- 
tera at least, the isolation is frequently more or 
less perfectly brought about by a difference in the 
time of year at which the imago reaches the 
perfect stage. Among our butterflies the single 
brood of Limenitis Sibylla falls between the two 
broods of the allied L. Camilla, and, in this case, 
there is not even a differentiation of the food- 
plants of the two species, both being confined to 
honeysuckle. Similarly, the single-brooded Poly- 
ommatus corydon falls between the two broods of 
P. bellargus, nor must it be thought that these 
species are so distinct as the colour of their res- 
pective males would suggest, for Buckler and 
Hellins were both unable to definitely distinguish 
the larvae, whilst I have in my possession an 
undoubted wild hybrid of these two species. I 
need only call attention to the single-brooded 
Cidaria immanata, which occurs in July and 
August, at a time practically intermediate between 



the two broods of C. russata ; to the parallel 
instance of the single-brood of Tephrosia crepuscu- 
laria, which appears between the two broods of 
T bistortata. True, the emergences may occasion- 
ally overlap for a few days, locally ; but for all 
intents and purposes the species are as perfectly 
isolated as if their habitats were separated by 
some of the most marked physical barriers. 
Isolation, indeed, must be the essential factor of 
the differentiation of new species, and an isolation 
that is engendered by the physical inability of two 
species to appear in the imaginal state at the same 
time is as potent as any physical barrier that 
prevents the two incipient species spreading to 
each other's grounds. It is only isolation of the 
kind pointed out above that could allow of the 
formation of a new species under the same general 
conditions and on the same ground as that 
occupied by its immediate progenitor. Given this 
isolation, the close interbreeding of the individuals 
of the new form and the intensification of its 
peculiarities are as assured as is the powerlessness 
of the new to cross with the ancestral form. The 
formation of peculiar androconia and other charac- 
ters will also tend to specialize the new form, and 
when once the peculiarities of the new form, albeit 
at first modifications of the old form, have become 
fixed, the possibility of crossing frequently in 
nature, even if subsequent changes lead to their 
appearance at the same time, will be much lessened 
thereby. How strong a factor this may really be 
in the differentiation of closely allied species will 
be evident to every field entomologist. Brenthis 
euphrosyne and B. selene offer an illustration. In 
dozens of closely allied Noctuid moths its influence 
is evident, e.g.,Agrotis trilici and A . obelisca, occurring 
in July-August and late September respectively. 
Caradrina ambigua and C. taraxaci, Agrotis segetum and 
A. lunigera, Triphaena subsequa and T. orbona (comes), 
etc. In none of these are there any real " recog- 
nition marks " in the true sense of the word. 
(To be continued.) 

There is a persistent rumour that Sir William 
Crooke's presidential address this year at Bristol, 
to the British Association, is to cause some sensa- 
tion and be a of startling character. 

Structure of Butterflies' Wings.— Mr. A. 
Radcliffe has made a comparative study of the 
venation of butterflies' wings. He sums up his 
results in the " Transactions of the Entomological 
Society of London," wherein he states that the 
changes in the veins " take a direction which 
stands probably in relation to the mode of flight." 

Conference of Astronomers. — Last year's 
Conference at the Yerkes Observatory having 
proved so successful, it is proposed to make the 
gathering annual. The "American Association 
for the Advancement of Science " will be meeting 
at Boston on August 22nd, the fiftieth anniversary 
of its foundation, so the conference will be held at 
Harvard College Observatory, August 18th, 19th 
and 20th. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



79 



PLANTS AND ANIMALS OF DIFFERENT SOILS. 
By H. Franklin Parsons, M.D., F.G.S. 

(Continued from page 42.) 



""THE silicious rocks, such as sandstone, sand 
and grave], tend to form by disintegration a 
light, dry, powdery soil. The character of the 
soil, however, varies according to the size of the 
particles of the bed and the readiness with which 
it undergoes disintegration. Thus, a gritstone, or 
a sharp gravel or sand, yields a thin, poor soil ; 
while a loamy sand, such as the Thanet sand, forms 
a warm and kindly one. A light, dry, sandy soil 
is favourable to the germination of minute seeds : 
hence sandy cornfields are frequently full of annual 
weeds, such as the poppy. Sandy commons are 
the especial habitat of dwarf annual plants, like 
the various species of Trifolium and of Cruciferae 
and Caryophyllaceae. A wet sand, on the other 
hand, such as is met with where a layer of retentive 
clay beneath holds up the water, tends to form a 
peaty soil, and many of the same plants grow on it 
as grow on peat. There are others, however, 
chiefly of a dwarf growth, which prefer a wet 
sandy soil to pure peat ; examples being Montia 
fontana, Peplis portula, Anagallis tenella, Salix repens, 
Juncus bufonius and /. squarrosus. The contrast 
between the flora of sandy and of chalky soils is | 
as a general rule, strongly marked, though there 
are some plants, such as the mulleins, of which we 
have three species near Croydon, that love a dry 
soil, but are not particular whether calcareous or not. 

The older and more consolidated sand-hills on 
the coast are often the habitat of plants of a 
calcareous type, which presumably find the lime 
which they require in the fragments of sea-shells 
mixed with the sand. The plants which make 
their habitat on the loose sand-dunes are remark- 
able for possessing long, tough roots, or widely- 
spreading rhizomes, which fulfil a useful purpose 
by binding the shifting sands together ; the sand 
sedge (Carex arenaria) and marram or star grass 
(Psamma arenaria) being noteworthy examples. 
Of plants characteristic of a sandy soil, the foxglove 
broom, corn marigold, wood sage and small sorrel 
are familiar examples. The Scotch fir, though 
probably not a native in the south of England, 
flourishes and propagates itself freely in such a 
soil, covering large tracts of the Bagshot sands in 
western Surrey. The larger ferns, mosses and 
fungi abound in damp woods on a sandy soil. A 
loose sandy soil is favourable to the operations of 
burrowing animals, such as rabbits and moles. 

Peat is a deposit of vegetable origin, formed in 
cold, moist situations, usually on waterlogged sand 
or silicious rock, less frequently or less perfectly 



on clay, and very rarely on limestone. It consists 
almost entirely of the decayed semicarbonized 
remains of plants, such as the small shrubby 
Ericaceae, rushes and sedges, and the larger mosses, 
especially Sphagnum and Polytrichum. "When free 
from admixture with sand, it contains only a very 
small proportion of mineral matter, as shown by 
the trifling amount of ash left when it is burnt in a 
heath fire. It may attain in bogs a depth of 
twenty feet or more, though it shrinks greatly 
in thickness on drying, when the bog is drained. 
It is, however, not very readily permeable by 
water. A peaty soil is generally covered by brown 
heathery moorlands. The vegetation is marked 
by a comparatively small number of species present, 
though each species is represented by a profusion 
of individual plants ; also by the rarity of grasses 
and plants with yellow flowers, and by the almost 
total absence of pasture plants and of the weeds 
of cultivation. The birch is the prevalent tree. 
Among characteristic plants of the peat may be 
mentioned the sundews, cross- leaved heath, bog 
asphodel, bog violet, bog myrtle, and the grasses 
Molinia caerulea and Nardus stricta. 

A clay soil is typically heavy and impervious to 
moisture. A pure, stiff clay forms naturally a 
poor, cold, backward soil ; but by cultivation, 
admixture with lighter materials and manuring, 
such a soil can be greatly improved. Clay is very 
retentive of organic matter, whereas in a light soil 
such matter is soon oxydised and disappears. 
Hence the effects of manuring last longer in a clay 
soil than in a sandy soil. A clay basis containing 
a greater or less proportion of fine sandy matter is 
called a loam, and one containing a proportion of 
calcareous matter, a marl. The flora of a pure 
clay is comparatively poor in species, and is 
marked less by the presence of particular plants 
characteristic of clay than by the absence of those 
characteristic of limestone and sand. Most of the 
plants which one finds on a clay soil are, in fact, 
common ones. The vegetation consists mainly of 
bushes and trees, or of strong-growing perennial 
plants, often with creeping underground rhizomes 
like the coltsfoot, couch grass and horsetails. The 
floras found on loam and marl approach respec- 
tively those found on sand and limestone. There 
are, however, a number of plants which prefer a 
heavy soil, though not confined to a pure clay. A 
familiar instance is the primrose, which is absent 
from the sandy and gravelly tracts of West Surrey, 
but is plentiful, where it has not been exterminated, 



8o 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



on the heavier soils. Other examples are the rest- 
harrow, the devil's-bit scabious, the sneeze-wort 
(Achillea ptarmica) and the field sow-thistle. 

Besides the above principal classes of soils there 
are others of a mixed character or of special kinds. 
There is alluvial loam and brick-earth, associations 
of fine sandy and clayey particles with more or less 
organic matter, forming a fertile soil, with a flora 
of a mixed and varied character. There is marsh 
soil, a rich black unctuous mould consisting largely 
of decayed vegetable matter, and supporting a 
flora in which rushes, sedges and coarse grasses 
predominate. There is the sea sand of which I 
have already spoken, and the salt marshes, with 
a flora consisting largely of succulent plants, 
especially species of Chenopodiaceae. The succu- 
lence appears to be related to the amount of salt 
present in the soil. Some species, such as Glaux 
maritima, Aster tripolium and Plantago maritima, 
which are dwarf and succulent when growing in a 
salt marsh, are rank and weedy in habit when they 
grow on the banks of a tidal river in its upper 
reaches, where the water is only slightly brackish. 
The different kinds of soil are marked by the 
abundance of particular sorts of trees. Thus the 
beech is pre-eminently the tree of chalky soils, 
though it thrives also on other dry soils, as on the 
Bagshot beds of the New Forest, the hills of the 
greensand and the Oldhaven pebble gravels in the 
neighbourhood of Addington. Among smaller 
trees and shrubs, the yew, white beam tree, 
juniper, wayfaring tree and traveller's joy, are 
chiefly found on calcareous soils. The Scotch fir 
and other Coniferae thrive best on a sandy soil. 
The birch also prefers a silicious or peaty soil. 
Ericaceous shrubs, such as the rhododendron, love 
a peaty soil and hate lime. The common elm is 
partial to rich loam ; the wych elm, rocky soil. 
The oak loves a heavy clay soil. The ash is also 
frequent on clay, but will grow on almost any kind 
of soil. Apple trees thrive on a clay soil, and it is 
said that it is only from orchards on a clay soil that 
good cider can be made. 

The relationship between the nature of the soil 
and the presence or absence of particular forms of 
animal life is less direct than that between the soil 
and the plants which grow upon it. Considerations 
of the nature of the soil often fail to explain the 
curiously restricted habitats of certain forms of 
animal life, e.g., of some butterflies. Nevertheless, 
it is clear that, whatever other conditions may be 
necessary, the presence of a particular animal in a 
locality must often depend upon the presence of 
some plant needful to it for food, shelter, or in 
some other way. Thus the nightingale, which 
builds its nest of oak-leaves, is especially abundant 
on heavy soils, on which the oak is the predominant 
tree. At the village of Havering-atte-Bower, Essex, 
which stands on a sandy eminence, it is said that 



the nightingale is never heard, though abundant in 
the clay tract around. In Tennyson's "Harold" 
this circumstance is ascribed to the influence of 
the prayers of King Edward ; but we should now- 
adays be more disposed to look for its cause in 
the character of the soil and prevailing vegetation. 

Even the distribution of the human species 
depends largely on the nature of the soil. Thus 
at the present time the great centres of population 
in this country are the coalfields where the raw 
materials of manufactures are to be procured. 
Excepting London and towns situated on 
harbours, almost all our large towns are built on 
or near the outcrop of the coal measures. In 
prehistoric times, on the contrary, the chief centres 
of population appear to have been the chalk downs, 
which were then open tracts, while the lower and 
heavier lands were covered with forest. On the 
chalk downs, too, flint was to be had. It stood 
in the same relation to primitive man as iron 
to us, and its manufacture was carried on. In 
mediaeval times, settlements appear to have been 
most frequent on the lighter and more fertile soils, 
such as the green sand, oolites, drift sands and 
gravels. It is on such soils that we find the 
villages and parish churches closely clustered 
together ; while on clayey tracts, which were 
formerly woodlands, or barren heaths and moun- 
tains, the villages are few and far between, while 
the ancient parishes are of wide extent. The 
boundaries of the old parishes are, as a rule, found 
to cut across, rather than to coincide with, the 
natural and physical features of the country, with 
the object of giving to each parish its share of each 
different sort of land. Thus, in the case of the 
villages situated at the foot of the chalk escarp- 
ment, each parish has commonly its strip of chalk 
down for sheep pasture, its portion of land suitable 
for the plough or grazing, and its share of what 
was the forest beyond. The position of the villages 
themselves is determined mainly by considerations 
of water supply. In a clay country it is usual to 
find the villages situated on patches of overlying 
drift gravel, where water is to be obtained by wells. 
All the older portions of London which were for- 
merly country villages and bear old English names, 
such as Kensington, Islington, Clapham, etc., are 
thus situated ; while places on the London clay 
were not habitable until a public water service had 
been provided. In the chalk plateaux of Hamp- 
shire and Wiltshire the villages follow each other 
in close succession along the bottoms of the valleys, 
where water is to be obtained from streams, springs, 
or wells. In Northamptonshire, on the other hand, 
all the villages are on the top of the hills, where a 
capping of ironsand or limestone rests on the lias 
clay, and where springs are thrown off at the 
junction. 

Oakhyrst, Park Hill Rise, Croydon. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



SIR WILLIAM HENRY FLOWER, 

K.C.B., LL.D., Dr.Sc, D.C.L., Ph.D., F.R.S., P.Z.S., Etc. 



'THE announcement of the retirement of Sir 
A William Flower from the directorship of the 
British Museum of Natural History, Cromwell 
Road, South Kensington, is received with universal 
and unfeigned regret. This severance is the more 
to be deplored because of its reason, though we are 
thankful that his health has been spared longenough 
to enable him to place the Natural History Museum 
of this country beyond the first rank of suchinstitu- 
tions. To wander through its spacious courts and 
long galleries is needed for appreciation of the 
organizing faculty which has directed the excellence 
of general arrangements. It is now, with the 
exception of a few details, a perfect model of what 
should be a modern museum of specimens in 
natural history for scientific teaching. No doubt 
Sir William has been ably and loyally supported 
by a clever staff of departmental keepers and 
assistants. All have willingly striven for success, 
and it is attained. 

Sir William Henry Flower was born at Stratford- 
on-Avon, the second son of the late Mr. Edward 
Fordham Flower of that town, on November 30th, 
1831. He was educated for the medical profession 
at University College, London, and the Middlesex 
Hospital. After qualifying, he joined the 63rd 
Regiment, as surgeon, in April, 1854, and served in 
the Crimean War, for which he holds medal, four 
clasps, and Turkish medal. Returning to London 
he was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the Middle- 
sex Hospital, holding the post during 1859 to 1861, 
when he received the appointment of Conservator 
of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
in Lincoln's Inn Fields. In 1869 he became 
Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and 
Physiology, retaining both offices until appointed 
Director of the Natural History Departments of 
the British Museum in 1884, on the retirement of 
Sir Richard Owen. Sir William was President of 
the section of Biology at the British Association, 
Dublin meeting, in 1878, and President of the 
Association at the Newcastle-on-Tyne meeting 
in 1889; President of the Anthropological Institute 
from 1883 to 1885 ; President of the Section of 
Anatomy at the International Medical Congress of 
London in 1881. In 1879 Sir William became 
President of the Zoological Society of London, 
and still occupies that position. He received the 
honour of a Companionship of the Bath in 
1887, and was promoted to be a K.C.B. in 1892. 
He is an honorary LL.D. of Edinburgh and 
Dublin, D C.L. of Durham, and D.Sc. of Cam- 
bridge. He is a Correspondent of the Institute 
of France, and he was elected President for the 



forthcoming International Congress of Zoology 
to be held at Cambridge this August, but im- 
paired health caused his retirement. 

It will always be in association with his admirable 
museum work, first in Lincoln's Inn Fields and 
then at South Kensington, that the name of Sir 
William Henry Flower will be spoken. Still, he 
has written several important memoirs on zoological 
and anatomical subjects, and some more extended 
works, for instance, that on " The Horse, a 
Study in Natural History " ; and in collabora- 
tion with Mr. Lydekker, he published in 1891 
"An Introduction to the Study of Mammals, 
Living or Extinct." The last publication of 
Sir William's collected essays is noticed in this 
number at page 85. It is embellished with a kindly 
dedication to Lady Flower, who was Georgiana 
Rosetta, the youngest daughter of Admiral W. 
H. Smyth, D.C.L., F.R.S. They were married 
in 1858. His son, Lieut. Stanley S. Flower, F.Z.S., 
is numbered as a contributor to these pages, and 
among our general supporters none is more valued 
than Sir William himself. Although professionally 
engaged for nearly forty years on scientific work, 
no one has been less assertive of such position. 
His bearing towards the humblest amateurs has 
always been cordial, and they might always depend 
for such advice or assistance he could give in their 
difficulties. Like so many others who have helped 
to make Natural Science what it is, Sir William 
began as an amateur, and therefore appreciates 
the embarrassments of others. 

In consequence of a misapprehension that the 
office of Director of the Natural History Museum 
was to be abolished, a very influential memorial 
against such abolition was signed and presented to 
the Trustees. Fortunately there does not appear 
to have been any foundation for such rumour, as 
it has been contradicted by Sir Edward Maunde 
Thompson, the Chief Librarian at Bloomsbury. 
Whoever is appointed in the place of Sir William 
Flower, we hope the Trustees will succeed in select- 
ing a man with powers of organization, administra- 
tion, and with a general knowledge, rather than 
a naturalist skilled in any one branch of natural 
science. Sir William himself has written : " A 
curator of a museum must be a man of very con- 
siderable education, as well as having natural 
ability, skill, manual dexterity and good taste. He 
must possess the moral qualifications of punctuality, 
habits of business, conciliatory manners, and in- 
domitable industry to discharge the small and 
monotonous duties constituting so large a part of 
the curator's life." J. T. C. 



s. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



BRITISH INFUSORIA. 

By E. H. J. Schuster, F.Z.S. 

{Continual /row bagc 40.) 
Part III. — Ciliata Holotkicha. 



'THE class Ciliata comprises those unicellular 
animals which move by the vibrations of a 
large number of small hair-like processes or cilia. 
The most primary type of ciliate infusor is mon- 
axial, bearing at one end a round mouth and at the 
other end the anus. The whole surface is clothed 
with rows of cilia of about the same length, which 
run in a longitudinal direction. Two nuclear 
bodies are present, the nucleus, meganucleus, or 
endoplast, and the paranucleus, micronucleus, or 
endoplastule. Of these the former seems to pre- 
side over the nutrition, the latter over the repro- 
duction of the animal. The body is enclosed in a 
layer of firmer protoplasm known as the pellicle 
or cuticle ; in this trichocysts are often present. 
These organs are probably evolved for protective 
purposes. In optical section they appear to be 
small highly refractive rods. When the animal is 
stimulated in certain ways they spring out suddenly 
into long hairs which stand out from the sides of 
the body. The application of a very dilute solution 
of acetic acid or slight pressure on the cover-glass 
produces this effect in such an animal as Para- 
maecium aurelia . 

Departures from the primitive form arise in the 
following ways : (1) by the prolongation of the 
anterior portion of the body to form a necklike 
process ; (2) by the shifting of the mouth from the 
anterior end, either through this neck development 
or from some other cause ; (3) by the excessive 
development of one side of the body causing 
asymmetry; (4) by differentiations of the primarily 
homogeneous rows of cilia. This latter is, per- 
haps, the most important modification, and it is 
on the character and arrangement of the cilia that 
all the various systems of classification are based. 

Stein divides the Ciliata into four orders, thus : 
(1) Holotricha, in which the cilia do not differ much 
in character and are evenly distributed ; (2) Hetero- 
tricha, which possesses a specially developed adoral 
band of cilia ; (3) Hypotricha, in which all the 
cilia except the adoral band are confined to the 
ventral surface ; (4) Peritricha, the cilia of which 
are arranged in rings which encircle the body. 

Saville Kent follows Stein in his arrangement of 
the orders, but changes about his families con- 
siderably. O. Butschli, in volume i. of "Die 
Classen und Ordnungen des Thierreichs," creates 
two orders : into one he puts part of the Holotricha, 
namely, those who have no undulating membrane 
in the neighbourhood of the mouth and no cilia in 



the oesophagus : this he calls the Gymnostomata. 
The other order contains the rest of the Ciliata, and 
is called the Trichostomata. Although Butschli's 
classification is, perhaps, the most natural, Saville 
Kent's will be adopted here as I have used it in 
speaking of the Flagellata. 

Family Paramaeciidae, defined by Saville Kent 
thus : — " Animalcules free-swimming, more or less 
flattened and asymmetrical, ciliate throughout ; oval 
and cuticular cilia alike ; dorsal and ventral 
surfaces distinct ; the oral aperture opening on the 
ventral surface." 

Paramaecium auvelia Miiller, affords a good type 
of the order Holotricha. The shape of the body is 
like that of a slipper, and from this fact the 
popular name, "slipper animalcule," is derived. 
It is of large size, and is plainly visible with the 
naked eye. On the left side, beginning near the 
anterior end, is a triangular depression, which is 
called the " peristome groove." From the apex of 
the triangle leads a narrow tubular canal, the 




Fig. 20. — Paramaecium aurelia ( x 200.) 
pg, peristome groove; os, oesophagus; tr, trichocysts un- 
discharged; tv\ trichocysts discharged; cv, contractile 
vacuoles; », nucleus ; n' paranucleus ; /, food vacuoles. 



" oesophagus." At the far end of this is the mouth. 
The body is covered with a striated cuticle in 
which trichocysts are evenly distributed. This is 
clothed with rows of powerful cilia. When the 
animal is alive, waves of contraction may be seen 
to pass down these rows. Two contractile vacuoles 
are present, one in the anterior, the other in the 
posterior, half of the body. These are not simple, 
but consist of a central round portion from which 
spring five or six radial canals. These are said 
to be connected by a branching system of ring 
tubules with the whole of the body substance of 
the animal. The central portion is connected 
with the exterior by means of a small canal. 
The vacuole seems to work as follows : water, 
which probably contains the excreta in solution, 
gradually collects in the radial canals ; these 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



.83 



fill to a certain pitch and then contract, thereby 
forcing the fluid contained in them into the central 
portion, which seems to spring into existence 
when this contraction takes place. It then grows 
gradually fuller for a time, as the water runs in 
through the half-contracted radial canals. It then 
contracts, driving its contents to the exterior, the 
opening into the radial canals being simultaneously 
closed up. An inflow of liquid into these canals 
cause them to fill up suddenly. When they have 
reached the right degree of fulness they contract, 
and the process is again repeated. The contractile 
vacuoles of Paramaecium correspond physiologically 
with the respiratory excretory, and to a certain 
extent also with the circulatory system of man and 
the higher animals. Near the centre of the animal 
a kidney-shaped or oblong nucleus is situated, 
and by the centre of this the small, round para- 
nucleus. 

Reproduction takes place by fission, or by spore 
formation after encystment. From time to time 
a process of conjugation appears to be necessary 
in order that the results of fission may be active 
and healthy. Two individuals come together and 
partially fuse. The nuclei are broken up, parts of 
the paranuclei are interchanged, and new nuclei 
are formed from the paranuclei. This process is 
known as " rejuvenescence," and is undoubtedly 
analogous to sexual reproduction in the higher 
animals. Paramaecium aurelia is exceedingly com- 
mon and widely distributed ; it occurs in stagnant 
pond and ditch water, and may be generally found 
in water in which leaves have been macerated. 

Paramaecium bitrsaria Ehrenberg, is much 
shorter in proportion to its length than P. aurelia. 




Fig. n— Paramaecium bursal ia ( x 200.) 

2, zoochlorellen ; cv, contractile vacuoles; », nucleus; 
»', paranucleus. 



The nucleus and paranucleus are situated in the 
posterior half of the animal. The arrangement 
of the mouth, oesophagus and oral groove does not 
differ much from that of the preceding species. 
The animal is coloured green owing to the pres- 
ence of numerous chlorophyllaceous corpuscles 
Biitschli calls " Zoochlorellen," and which are 



possibly symbiotic algae. The size of the body 
varies considerably ; 100 microns is, perhaps, the 
average length. 

The animal occurs in marsh water, and is ex- 
ceedingly common in the Norfolk dykes. The 
species was first described by Ehrenberg, and 
referred by him in "Die Infusionsthiere " to the 
genus Loxodes ; it was transferred by Foeke in 1836 
to the genus in which it now stands. 

Family Trachelophyllidae. — " Animalcules free- 
swimming, ciliate throughout, more or less flask- 
shaped ; oval and cuticular cilia alike ; the oral 
aperture perforating the extremity of the narrower 
anterior region, which is frequently highly elastic 
and extensile." 

Urotricha lagcnula Ehrenberg, is one of the most 
simply organized of the Ciliata. It is oval in shape, 
the posterior end is pointed, and bears a long 
bristle, which forms the chief characteristic of 
the genus, and from which the generic name 
(Urotricha = hairtail) is derived. It is covered all 
over, except for a small area at the posterior end, 
with long cilia. At the anterior end is the mouth, 




Fig. 22.— Urotricha lagcnula ( x 335.) 

which is situated at the end of a narrow oesophagus 
and is capable of much enlargement. At the pos- 
terior end are the anus and a simple contractile 
vacuole. A spherical nucleus lies in the middle 
of the body, but as yet no paranucleus has been 
observed. The surface is coarsely striated ; the 
length of the body is from 20 to 30 rrricrons. 

This animal lives in pond and ditch water. It 
swims slowly, but sometimes makes sudden jumps 
over a short distance ; the jumping movement is 
due to a sharp vibration of the posterior hair. 

Family Colepidae. — "Animalcules free-swimming, 
symmetrically ovate, persistent in form, ciliate 
throughout; oval cilia slightly larger than those 
of the general cuticular surface. 

Coleps hirtus Ehrenberg, is barrel-shaped, with 
one side slightly more convex than the other. The 
whole body is covered with a hard cuticular exo- 
skeleton, which divides up by grooves running at 
right angles to one another. One series of grooves 
is longitudinal, the other is transverse, and in the 
grooves rows of cilia and trichocysts are placed. 
At the bottom of a slight depression at the anterior 
end we find the mouth, and round it a ring of 



8 4 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



rather large cilia ; at the posterior end is the anus. 
A spherical nucleus is present in the middle of the 
body, and one contractile vacuole posterior to it. 
Zoochlorellen may sometimes be observed. 

This species is exceedingly common and widely 
distributed; it occurs in stagnant water; the 




Fig. 23. — Coleps liirtus. ( x 335.) 

body length is about 70 microns. The process of 
transverse fission is as follows : The cuticle 
becomes separated in the middle, and the body 
becomes much elongated, the central portion being 
without corrugations. The centre then becomes 
constricted and finally cut right through, and two 
animals are formed, one with corrugated cuticle at 
its anterior end, the other thus protected at its 
posterior end. These two animals then proceed to 
grow gradually into the normal form. 
(To be continued.) 



HELIX NEMORALIS IN IRELAND. 

By John T. Carrington. 

T AM again indebted to Mr. R. Welch, of Belfast, 
for a consignment of shells of Tachea nemoralis 
from Co. Down. The former batch was described 
in Science-Gossip in May last (vide vol. iv. N.S. 
p. 352). These last were kindly gathered by Mrs. 
Robert Russell, of Belfast, on sand dunes at 
Killard Point, near Portaferry. Mrs. Russell sent to 
Mr. Welch 829 specimens, collected "just as they 
came, without selection," a large proportion being 
immature. The mature examples were much eroded 
by sand blowing and weather wear. Mr. Welch 
retained forty-eight examples for his collection 
and the Irish collection in the Dublin Museum 
These are included in the following analysis of 
variation occurring in the batch. He chose the 
forty-eight on account of small size or inclination 
to have high spiral formation. 

The general tendency in size of the Killard Point 
T. nemoralis is to run small, though there are 
individuals up to the average. Mr. Welch retained 
some small examples under 18 mm. broad. He 
suggests it is the result of the past cold spring. 



This may account for the large number of immatur 
specimens, but not for the puny adults, which, 
being much eroded by sand blowing, evidently 
belong to last year. Sandhill specimens are often 
smaller than those on better soil. There is some 
tendency to have high spires, one example being 
quite the form conica. 

The colour varieties are three in number, viz., 
545 yellow (var. libellula), 238 pink (var. rubella), 45 
orange (var. aurantia) = 828 specimens. 

The band formulae are as follows : 

No bands .. 00000 .. 1 specimen. 
Split bands, 00,5340 and 123445, 2 specimens. 

1 band .. 00300 .. 213 ,, 

2 bands . . 10300 . . 4 ,, 
2 ,, . . 02300 . . 2 ,, 

2 ,, .. 00305 .. 6 ,, 

3 ,, .. 12300 ..1 
3 ,, .. 02340 .. 2 
3 ,, .. 02305 ..1 
3 .. •• 10305 7 

3 .. •• oo345 •• T 5 

4 » •• I20 45 3 
4 ,, .. 10345 ..4 

4 ,, .. 02345 ..1 

5 .. •- "345 •• 319 

2 ,, in 1 . . 0(23)00 . . 1 ,, 

3 ,, in 2 . . 1(23)00 . . 1 ,, 
3 „ in 2 .. 0(23)40 ..1 

3 ,, in 2 .. 003(45) ..2 

5 ,, in 1 .. (12345) ..2 

5 ,, in 2 .. (123M45) •• c 3 

5 ,> in 3 •• (12)3(45) •• 3 

5 ,, in 3 .. (123)45 •• 85 

5 .. in 4 •• J ( 2 3)45 •• 21 
5 „ in 4 .. (12)345 -.69 

In the colour varieties, yellow largely predomin- 
ates over the others. Some of the pink specimens 
are rather dark or richly coloured, but many others 
showed a tendency to the orange tint. This also 
appeared slightly in a few of the yellow examples. 
I think when these animals are bred by artificial 
selection, it will probably be found that the var. 
aurantia may be often obtained by crossing the 
pink and yellow forms. 

With regard to the band variation, the following 
points were noted. 

The occurrence of only one bandless (00000, 
lihetlula) among 828 specimens gathered " as they 
came," is remarkable, and tends to show that the 
band formulae are hereditary in localities. The 
absence of bands is the more notable when we find 
about a fourth of the whole had only one banded 
00300. 

The proportion of colour in the one-banded 
form was about equal in average to that of the 
numbers respectively of the three colour forms 
represented. Some of these single bands were 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



85 



strongly marked and wide, whilst two retained by 
Mr. Welch had " a white fringe to the band " on 
the lower side. These I have not seen. 

In two bands, the form 10300 is scarce ; I have 
only found it previously on Sussex Downs, near 
Brighton. 02300 is also scarce, and I have taken 
it twice only in the same Sussex locality. 00305 
is likewise scarce, though I have found it in 
Sussex, North Kent and Lincolnshire. 

Of the three-banded forms, the one specimen of 
12300 found in the present batch is the only one I 
have seen, and is believed to be very rare. 10305 
is uncommon, as are also 02305 and 02340; but 
00345 is by no means so, as it occurs in most 
localities. 

The three four-banded forms are of frequent 
occurrence, and the five-banded constitutes nearly 
a third of the whole number. All colours present 
were about in proportion in the latter band form. 

Two bands in one = oo(34)o is rare; I have not 
before met with it. This Co. Down example is 
adult, and is distinctly marked. One of the two 
bands is slightly longer than the other, and where 
they overlap along the periphery, the colour is 
darker. 

Of three bands in two, 1(23)00 and 0(23)40 are 
very rare. I had not met with either previously. 
Unfortunately they and the other variety (12300) 
were only about two-thirds grown, but I am trying 
to bring them to maturity in captivity ; though 
from long confinement before they reached me, 
they are far from vigorous. The other, 003(45) 
is also new to my experience. I have not seen the 
example, which is among those retained by Mr. 
Welch. 

There was only one each, pink and yellow, of 
the broad-banded five in one (12345), which were 
rather dark specimens. 

As in the last Co. Down lot above referred to, 
the form common in England (12)3(45) is remark- 
able for its narrow escape of absence, there being 
only two specimens in pink and one in yellow. 

The form (123)45 is evidently more frequent in 
Ireland than in England. This I referred to in 
the May notes as rare here ; I would modify that 
word by saying "infrequent" in England, as I 
have, since writing, carefully referred to all my 
older notes. 

The two examples of five bands in four are often 
found in many localities. 

I have to thank Mrs. Robert Russell, through 
Mr. Welch, for kindly giving me the opportunity 
of examining so large a number of representative 
specimens. I needed only about a dozen from 
them for my own collection ; so placed the remain- 
ing living ones, over 700 in number, to form a 
colony on the bank of a new road near Wembly 
Park Station, in Middlesex, where the species did 
not previously occur. 




NOTICES BY JOHN T. CARRINGTON. 

Note.—/;! consequence o) the great variety in sizes of books 
now published, the old descriptions, founded on the folding 
of the paper on which they are printed, will not in future 
he followed in these pages. In its stead their size, including 
binding, will be given in inches, the greater being the length 
and the lesser the breadth, unless otherwise specified. — Ed. 
Science-Gossip. 

Essays on Museums, and other Subjects connected 
with Natural History. By Sir William Henry 
Flower, K.C.B., D.C.L., D.Sc, LL.D., Ph.D., 
F.R.S., F.R.C.S., P.Z.S., etc. pp. XV.-394, 
9J in. x 6 in., with illustrations. (London and 
New York : Macmillan and Co., 1898.) 12s. net. 

There is a peculiar interest in taking up this 
book at the present moment, when its author has 
voluntarily ceased his active association as its 
director with the finest natural history museum 
in the world. Though the fiend of imperfect 
health has clutched him, it must be a satisfaction 
to feel that it has fortunately left him time to put in 
order the magnificent institution at Cromwell Road. 
The portion of the book before us devoted to con- 
sideration of natural history museums is contained 
in seven contributions to the subject, founded 
either on addresses or otherwise, which, like 
the whole of the other chapters, have been 
edited and collected together. Wherever we 
dip into its pages we find the influence of its 
author, ever courteous, kindly, and teeming with 
information. Best of all, there runs through it a 
valuable substratum of common-sense, and the 
faculty of unobtrusively asserting its application. 
This latter quality above all others has probably 
accounted for Sir William's great success as an 
administrator, often under difficult and delicate 
conditions. The first essay is on Museum Organiz- 
ation, and is founded on a presidential address to 
the British Association at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 
1889. The second is on Modern Museums, a like 
address at London, in 1893, t0 'he Museums 
Association. Then follow other essays on Local 
Museums, School Museums, Boys' Museums, the 
Booth Museum at Brighton, and on the" Museum 
of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 
some time under the author's direction. The rest 
of the essays, in all two dozen in number, are 
devoted to general biology, anthropology and 
biographical sketches. This book is one which 
should be in every borough library where the 
Libraries and Museums Act is in force, and the first 
readers should be the members of the museum 
committees, the type of men referred to by Sir 
William, who offer ^50 per annum for a curator 
with scientific attainments. Then the death blow 
to the old system of congregating anything that is 
curious into a general chaos, will indeed be given ; 
for the system still lingers in places where one 
would little expect to find such "amuseums." 
For the general reader most of the essays will be 
a source of delight as well as instruction. No- 
where do we find the cynic, though everywhere 
the kindly Professor Flower of old, always ready 
to assist the young or older naturalists. 



86 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



The Wonderful Century : Its Successes and Failures. 
By Alfred Russel Wallace, pp. X.-400, 8 in. 
x 5$ in. With portrait and 12 diagrams. (Lon- 
don : Swan Sonnenschein and Co., Limited. New 
York : Dodd, Mead and Co., 1898.) 7s. 6d. 

The title of this book is perhaps a trifle mis- 
leading, for, as explained by the author in his 
preface, it "is not in any sense a history, even 
on the most limited scale. It may perhaps be 
termed an appreciation of the century." One is 
naturally attracted by such a title and by the 
author's name as an authority beyond question on 
subjects scientific ; neither is there cause for com- 
plaint whilst he deals with the successes of the 
century in Part I., as they are generally of a 
scientific nature. It is not every reader who will 
fully agree with Dr. Russel Wallace in the second 
part, dealing with other matters and what the 
author describes as the failures. These, to say 
the least, are still in the debatable stage of their 
history, and to definitely call their present position 
failures is, even for such an authority as Dr. 
Wallace, using a strong word. The chapters 
under the heading of "Failures" are a curious 
mixture of titles, such as the " Neglect of Phreno- 
logy," "Opposition to Hypnotism and Psychical 
Research," " Vaccination a Delusion— its Penal 
Enforcement a Crime," " Militarism — the Curse 
of Civilization," " The Demon of Greed," " The 
Plunder of the Earth," and an appendix on 
"The Remedy for Want in the Midst of 
Wealth." One cannot help thinking, when com- 
paring the magnificent list of successes enumerated 
by the author, that it would have been more 
satisfactory to most readers if some of the 252 
pages devoted to Failures had been added to 
the 148 pages of Successes. It would have 
looked less like using an admirable title to induce 
persons to read Dr. Wallace's views on subjects 
on which the readers might hold other opinions. 
We return with more satisfaction to the considera- 
tion of Part I. and the Successes. Dr. Wallace 
treats them popularly and in his old charming 
literary style; still, more might have been said 
about the Successes. "Modes of Travelling" is 
discussed in ten pages. Not that they are not 
interesting pages, but the trouble is there are 
only ten of them. The description of this success 
is too limited. There is no mention of the latest 
and possibly most important invention in ocean 
travel, for which the Hon. Charles F. Parsons 
was made a F.R.S. at the last election: the 
compound steam turbine that will probably 
raise the speed of vessels to fifty miles an hour. 
Electric railways are left severely alone, as 
are the cheap fares on railways and street 
tramways. Steep-grade mountain railways are 
omitted, as are underground and elevated rail- 
roads. No word is given to the importance of 
education by combined travel, known as " con- 
ducted tours." "Labour-saving machinery" is 
dismissed in four pages. We cannot find any 
reference to the introduction of acetylene gas, 
already lighting hundreds of houses in this country, 
and which seems destined to oust other artificial 
lights. Phrenology is favoured with about thirty- 
four pages and vaccination with a hundred pages, 
all but two. We wish Dr. Russel Wallace had 
written two books instead of the two sections 
under one cover. The first part would then have 
better justified the title of the work, and those 
who wanted the subject matter of the second part 
need not have had to complain of the space 
occupied by the first being only 148 pages. 



Insects : Foes and Friends. By W. Egmont 
Kirby, M.D. With Preface by W. F. Kirby, 
F.L.S., F.E.S. pp. X.-138, 5£ in. x 4 in. With 
32 coloured plates. (London: S. W. Partridge 
and Co., 1898.) is. 6d. 

This is a bright-looking little picture-book that 
will be useful as a gift-book for young children. 
The coloured pictures, which form the leading 
feature, are sure to be attractive, and the letter- 
press is concise and correct as a whole. 

Illustrated Guide to The Royal Gardens, Kew. 
Edited by Mrs. S. Goldney, 40 pp., 7J in. tall x 
8j in. wide. Illustrated from Photographs by 
Walter John Mills. (London : Dawbarn and 
Ward, Limited, 1898.) is. net. 

This little book makes a pretty souvenir of the 
Royal Gardens at Kew. It is essentially a picture- 
book, and must be considered only as such, as the 
literary matter accompanying the pictures is 
curious rather than valuable. Considering how 
few of the many visitors to the gardens take any 
interest in botany, we suppose the quality of the 
literary dish served with the beautifully prepared 
illustrations matters little. It is a pity, however, 
that so good an opportunity has been lost. Still 
the book is worth the shilling asked for it. 

Birds of Montreal. By Ernest D. Wintle. pp. 
viii.-28i. 8| in. x 6 in., with map and 4 illustra- 
tions. (Montreal: W. Drysdale and Co. London: 
John Wheldon and Co.) 5s. 

The author has spent some fifteen years of 
research and observation to produce this annotated 
list of the birds frequenting the Montreal district 
of Canada. The island contains scenery suitable 
for the haunts of bird-life by the side of the St. 
Lawrence, up which river it is situated 620 miles 
from the sea. Mr. Wintle, who is an associate 
member of the " American Ornithologists' Union," 
includes 254 species in this list. Of course it does 
not contain any description of the birds, but there 
are many valuable notes that will be useful in aiding 
the observation of future ornithologists. At the end 
of the book, as a sort of supplement, are some 
original sporting sketches by David Dennie, dated 
1895, and an abstract of the fish and game laws 
of 1896, showing the close times for the district. 
We note it is unlawful to take the nests or eggs of 
wild birds at any time of the year, the fines ranging 
from about 10s. to /20. 

An Illustrated Manual of British Birds. By 
Howard Sadnders, F.L S., F.Z.S. Second 
Edition revised. 8| in. x 5§ in. (London : Gurney 
and Jackson, 1898.) is. per monthly part. 

Parts 4 to 8 have been received of this work in 
addition to those mentioned in the last volume of 
Science-Gossip (pp. 205 and 265). Among the 
new illustrations in the parts before us of this 
second edition are red - throated pipit, Siberian 
meadow - bunting, short - eared owl (much more 
natural looking than in the last edition), tawny 
owl and little owl. Altogether these constitute 
four bright parts of this useful and trustworthy 
work, which is to be finished in twenty parts. 

Illustrated Guide to Leamington Spa. By Bernard 
C. P. Walters. 150 pp., 7^ in. x 5 in. Numerous 
illustrations by W. T. Whitehead, plan and map. 
(London : Dawbarn and Ward, Ltd., 1898.) is. 

The district covered by this pretty guide includes 
Warwick, Kenilworth and Coventry, as well as 
Leamington. It is embellished with drawings by 
Mr. W. T. Whitehead. It will be useful to those 
visiting the district; but the naturalist will not find 
much about the plants or animals found there. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



87 



Illustrated Guide to Belfast, Giant's Causeway and 
Antrim Coast. 177 pp., 6J in. x 4 in., with maps 
and numerous illustrations. (Belfast : W. and G. 
Baird, 1898.) 6d. 

The North of Ireland railways are energetically 
placing the many charming features of their district 
well before the public, which are sure to be 
attracted to the region for holiday trips. The 
visitors could find no prettier or historically more 
interesting district. In this guide, which is the 
official handbook of the Belfast and Northern 
Counties Railway, are many illustrations showing 
the character of the country. Naturalists will find 
it a happy hunting-ground, and will get from the 
chapters devoted to 
botany and geology 
much useful infor- 
mation. These are 
written by Mr. R. 
Lloyd Praeger and 
Professor Grenville 
A. J. Cole. Many 
of the illustrations 
are by Mr. Robert 
Welch, and are 
good, as usual with 
his work. 

Types of Scenery 
and their Influence 
on Literature. By 
Sir Archibald 
Geikie, D.C.L., 
F.R.S. (London : 
Macmillan and Co., 
Limited, 1898.) 2s. 




net. 

This work of fifty- 
nine pages consti- 
tutes the Romanes 
Lecturedeliveredin 
the Sheldonian The- 
atre at Oxford on 
June 1st, 1898. No 
one who is not a ge- 
ologist could have 
traced the impor- 
tant influence upon 
literature which 
natural scenery has 
had in the striking 
manner in which 
this is shown in 
the work before us. 
The scenery of the 
island is divided 
into (1) the Low- 
lands of Britain ; Lily Tank in Herb 
(2) the Uplands of From " The Royal 
Southern Scotland 

and the Border Country ; and (3) the Highlands of 
Scotland, Wales and the Lakes. The character- 
istic lowland topography is seen east of a line 
drawn across England from the mouth of the 
Humber, through the Midlands to the Bristol 
Channel. West of this imaginary line are found 
the harder and more durable rocks which, owing 
to the slowness and diversity of their weathering, 
have given rise to an altogether different style of 
river and stream scenery, distinct as possible from 
the quiet, easy-flowing river-bank country through 
which the rivers of the east and south-east wend 
their way. The placid scenery of the eastern low- 
lands has had an important influence upon the 
poets of nature, such as Cowper, Thompson and 



Burns ; and Sir Archibald shows how each has been 
influenced similarly by the lowland scenery around 
them as they wrote, although he acknowledges the 
differences which necessarily characterised their 
respective works. Scott and Wordsworth are 
characteristic upland poets. The surface of the 
uplands, where not covered with peat-moss, is 
uninhabited and clothed with bent or heather. It 
is in the hollows, which lead down into the main 
valleys, where the farms and villages have been 
planted. These strips of land, sunk below the 
general level, have been carved out by the "waters " 
now leading through them, and these streams, re- 
garded with veneration by those who lived upon their 

banks, have played 
an influential part 
in upland poetry. 
Classed together as 
Highlands, for the 
purposes of the pre- 
sent inquiry, is the 
higher, more rugged 
and mountainous 
ground. Each of 
the varied kinds of 
rock has its charac- 
teristic weathering, 
and with a heavier 
rainfall than in the 
lowlands the topo- 
graphy is bolder an d 
more diverse. This 
kind of scenery is 
depicted in James 
Macpherson's 
"Fragments of 
Ancient Poetry Col- 
lected in the High- 
lands," published 
in 1760, and in his 
other works which 
followed. Into the 
controversy which 
arose concern- 
ing the so-called 
"Poems of Ossian" 
Sir Archibald de- 
clines to enter, but 
prefers to approach 
them from a scenic 
and topographical 
point of view. The 
author of the poems 
was twenty - four 
when his remark- 
able delineations 
of highland land- 
scape appeared, 
and he showed 
himself to be a true poet of nature. It is pointed 
out, curiously enough, that three of the poets 
chosen for notice in this work have held up the 
geologist to ridicule: Cowper in "The Task" 
(book iii., 150), Wordsworth in " The Excursion " 
(book iii.), Scott in " St. Ronan's Well " (chap, ii.) 
— all make amusing and more or less sarcastic 
allusions to the stone-chipping, hammer-armed 
geologists. Like Hugh Miller, Sir Archibald 
believes there is yet to come some poetic seer 
who, looking over the whole purview of geology, 
will place before man's eye " the inner meaning 
of mountain and glen." The booklet is to be 
recommended for its literary as well as its scien- 
tific importance. — E. A. M. 



aceous Gardens. 
Gardens, Kew." 



88 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 




Professor E. B. Frost, of Dartmouth College, 
has been appointed Professor of Astrophysics at 
the Yerkes Observatory. 

As successor to the late Edward Wilson, Mr. 
Herbert Bolton, Assistant Keeper at the Man- 
chester Museum, has been appointed Curator of 
the Bristol Museum. 

In the "Journal of Conchology " for July is 
an admirable article by Mr. Lionel E. Adams, B.A., 
on the pairing of Limax maximus L. It shows 
acute observation on the part of the author, and 
it is illustrated by a plate of great interest. 

It is stated that a carrier pigeon, belonging to 
the Rev. J. W. McKenzie, of Whitwick in Leicester- 
shire, has taken a homing flight from the Shetland 
Isles, a distance of 513 miles from Whitwick, in 
ten hours and twenty-five minutes, being an average 
speed of 1,453 yards per minute. This, if authentic, 
is some guide when considering the flight of birds 
during migration. 

In Britain several animals occur in very restricted 
localities, which are commonly distributed on the 
continent of Europe. For instance, Mr. E. A. 
Newberry draws attention to the discovery of a 
single specimen each at Lakenheath and at Hendon 
of the beetle Harpalus picipetmis, hitherto considered 
exclusively a coast species in this country. It is 
by no means so restricted on the Continent, occur- 
ring in localities far from the sea. Helix pomatia, 
the large edible snail, is confined to certain chalk 
hills in Britain, but is common in vineyards on other 
soils in France, far away from chalk or limestone. 

Canon Rawnsley states that the water is now 
entirely withdrawn from the Fall of Foyers, and 
that foul smells pervade a considerable area of 
Loch Ness. All the fir-trees within about 200 
yards of the factory are dead. There were people 
who smiled at the Duke of Westminster's forecast 
of this in 1895, as an exaggeration. It behoves 
those who value the scenery of our country to 
watch some other places in Wales and elsewhere, 
in view of like events occurring through the present 
scramble for cheap water-power. 

The Annual Index to Periodicals, compiled by 
Miss E. Hetherington, of the " Review of Reviews " 
staff, is announced to appear this month. It should 
be useful to our readers, or their societies' libraries. 
Its price is ten shillings. The July number of the 
"Review of Reviews" is an excellent one, and 
contains a series of engravings of some of the late 
Edward Burnc-Jones' pictures. 

The vast importance of one's eyesight is such 
that we notice with satisfaction the Spectacle 
Makers' Company, one of the ancient London 
Guilds, is moving for a qualification in those who 
retail aids to sight. This is not before the necessity 
has arisen, knowing we may now buy glasses at 
any sort of small optician's shop, or at a chemist's, 
and even in a stationer's. We recently saw a pair 
sold in one of the latter shops, for sixpence-half- 
penny, by a girl of sixteen. Who knows what harm 
may be done to the purchaser's sight ? 



Science is beginning to tell with the better 
education of the prospector for minerals. In the 
days gone past he was usually a man with much 
experience, but little scientific knowledge, who was 
content to deal with the ores of gold, silver, copper 
and the like. Such men passed the rarer metals 
with no more than a look of curiosity. 

Recently, however, this better education has 
detected a valuable though small deposit, in a 
very restricted locality in the Lusitanian corner of 
Europe, of the scarce metal vanadium, one of the 
best alloys known for strengthening steel, etc. 

At present the pure oxide of vanadium is worth 
135 shillings a pound, and the pure metal sells at 
eight shillings for every twenty grains weight. It 
has hitherto been chiefly utilized for transforming 
aniline dyes into an intense black to be used for 
indelible ink, and also for colouring glass. 

Mr. Upcott Gill is shortly to publish a new 
book on "British Dragonflies," by a specialist, Mr. 
W.J. Lucas, B.A. It will be beautifully illustrated 
in colours. Specimen plates and circular may be 
had on application to Mr. Gill, 170, Strand, W.C. 

In a review of Mr. Laver's "Animals of Essex,' 
in " Nature," of July 14th, it is complained that 
the author had not followed the nomenclature in 
the new list of British Animals by Mr. Oldfield 
Thomas. The reviewer goes on to say : " It may 
be uncongenial, but the sooner amateur naturalists 
take to following the lead of their professional 
brethren the better it will be for all parties. The 
change is bound to come, and it may as well be 
accepted gracefully." 

In reading these opinions, given with the 
authority whence they come, no doubt many of 
our readers will feel a sense of intense satisfaction 
in learning that the nomenclature of at least one 
group of British animals has been settled once and 
for all. Is this the fact, however? We heard in 
the past the same thing on the production of 
certain lists in other departments. " This list will 
finally settle the matter," was said of several 
important groups of plants and animals, whose 
nomenclature is now in a worse state of confusion 
than ever. 

That amateur naturalists do not object to the 
change as indicated in " Nature" is proved by the 
frequent, one may almost say continual, attempts 
they are making in following the nomenclature of 
the respective departments of their study. Take, 
for instance, an English lepidopterologist of mature 
years. He will tell us that some of our species have 
had their names changed, both specific and generic, 
at least four times in his memory. Neither is there 
any prospect of the end arriving. The botanists 
are in equal tribulation. 

For the amateur there is some excuse. There is 
none for the professional naturalists, that is, those 
who are paid for their work, that they should not 
by this time have definitely settled the scientific 
names for at least the limited number of animals 
and plants occurring in these islands. By doing 
so, far more good would be done than by the 
multiplication of " species." The amateur will be 
ready enough to gracefully and gladly accept any 
list of names that is final. What he objects to is 
the constant re-learning of names for some common 
creatures known by sight to everybody. It is that 
which disgusts and drives the amateur's interest 
from his subject of study. 






SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



89 



ASTRONOMY, 



CONDUCTED BV FRANK C. DENNETT. 



Smii 



Aug 
... 10 . 



Aug. 
Moon ■ 10 ... 
20 ... 
30 ... 



Rises, 
h.m. 
4.39 a. in 
... 4-55 
... 5." 
Rises, 
h.m. 

10.40 p.m. ... 
8.29 a.m. ... 
6.7 p.m. ... 



Sets, 
h.m. 
. ... 7.31 p.m 

... 7" 

... 6.51 

Souths. 

h.m. 

6.28 a.m. ... 

2.12 p.m. ... 
11.27 



Position at Noon. 
R.A. 



h.m. 

. ... 9.21 

- 9-59 

...10.35 

Sets. 

h.m. 

33 P-m 

741 

3.35 a.m 



Dec. 

15 30' N. 



Aug. 
Mercury... 10 ... 



30 
Venus ... 10 



30 ... 
Mars ... 20 .. 
Jupiter ... 20 .. 
Saturn ... 20 .. 
Uranus ... 20 ... 
Neptune... 20 ... 



Souths. Semi 
h.m. Diameter. 

1.46 p.m. ... 3" 8 
1.26 ... 4" 5 



... 8" 55' 
Age at Neon, 
d. h. m, 
22 16 13 
3 1 25 
13 1 25 
Position at Nooif 
R.A. 



o 36 

2.44 p.m. .. 

2-45 

2.45 

7.28 a.m. .. 

2.41 p.m. .. 

6.20 p.m. .. 

5-53 P-m. .. 

7.41 a.m. .. 



5 2 
8" 4 
9" 1 
9" 9 
3" o 
14" 8 
7" 8 
1" 9 
1" 3 



h.m. 
... 11. 2 ... 4 
.. 11,21 ... o' 
... 11. 12 ... o 
... 12.0 ... o' 
,.. 12.40 ... 4' 
... 13.20 ... 9' 
... 5.24 ... 23 1 
... 12.36 ... 2' 
.. 16.17 -• *9' 
.. 15.50 ... 19' 
.. 536 ... 22' 



Dec. 



5'N. 



15'N. 
51' S. 
47' 
o'N. 
40' S. 
38' S. 
56' s. 

2'N. 



Mars*! 


. 5 p.m. . 


.. planet 


3° 4' 


S. 


Mercury* .. 


2 p.m. . 


>> 


I°I4' 


IN. 


Jupiter*-} 


5 a.m. . 


n 


6" 51' 


N. 


Venus* 


8 a.m. . 


,, 


5° 3' 


N. 


Saturn' 1 1 


5 a.m. . 


. 


5° 4' 


N. 



Moon's Phases. 

h.m. h.m. 

Full ... Aug. 2 ... 4.29 a.m. 3rd Qr. ... Aug. 9 ... 6.13 a.m. 

New... „ 17 ...10.35 „ 1st Qr , 24 ... 8.32 p.m. 

Full ... „ 31 ... 0.51 p.m. 

In apogee August 13th, at 5 a.m., distant 251,900 
miles ; and in perigee on 29th, at 1 a.m, distant 
226,200 miles. 

Conjunctions of Planets with the Moon : 

Aug. 11 



* Daylight. t Below English horizon. 

The Sun often has spots on his surface, but 
spotless days are increasing in frequency. 

Mercury is an evening star, reaching its greatest 
eastern elongation (27° 22') at 3 a.m. on the 9th, 
and at 4 p.m. on the same day is at its greatest 
distance from the sun (aphelion). This is not a 
very favourable elongation for observing the planet 
after sunset. 

Venus is an evening star, in conjunction with 
Jupiter at 6 p.m. on the 19th, Jupiter being i° 51' 
to the north. The planet is best observed in the 
early afternoon. 

Mars has still a very small apparent diameter, 
and may be observed during the early morning hours 
away in the north-eastern heavens. Mars is in 
conjunction with Neptune at 10 p.m. on the 25th, 
Mars being i° 13' north. 

Jupiter is an evening star, setting about two 
hours after the sun at the beginning of the month, 
but less than an hour after at the end. 

Saturn and Uranus are not well placed, owing 
to their great south declination. The outside 
minor axis of Saturn's outer ring still exceeds the 
angular diameter of the planet, so that he is a 
really beautiful object when the air will permit 



observation. Saturn sets near midnight on the 
1st, and near 10 p.m. at the end of the month. 

Neptune is still too near the sun for successful 
observation. 

Meteors should be specially looked for during 
August, the principal dates being the 3rd, 5th, 7th 
to 13th, 15th, and 19th to 22nd. 

Comets. — -The month of June has proved itself 
to be a notable one in the history of cometary 
astronomy, no less than five of these bodies being 
discovered within eight days, two of them expected 
visitors, and the other three strangers. We give 
particulars of them in order: — 

c 1898, discovered June nth photographically 
at Lick Observatory by Mr. Coddington, and 
independently discovered at Bucharest. It, 
however, rapidly passed too far south to be 
observed from England. Herr Berberich cal- 
culates that it will pass its perihelion on 
September 15th, at a distance of 169. Earth's 
distance =10 

d 1898, Encke's, observed June 12th by Mr. 
Tebbutt, of Windsor, N.S.W. This too can 
only be seen in the southern hemisphere. 

e 1898, discovered by Mr. Perrine, of Lick 
Observatory, on June 14th, R.A. 3h. 29m., N. 
Dec. 58 36'. According to Herr Berberich it 
will reach its perihelion on August 5th, at a 
distance of 028, earth's distance = 10. It is 
rapidly brightening, and before this is published 
it may be expected to be quite six times as 
bright as when discovered. Its motion is towards 
south-east. Mr. A. C. D. Crommelin, of the 
Royal Observatory, writes that on August 1st, 
at 11 p.m., the comet's place is R.A. 7h. 20m. 8s., 
N. Dec. 27 50' ; and on August 10th, R.A. 
7h. 52m. 47s., N. Dec. 17 2', its brightness 
being 8-5 as great as when discovered. 

/ 1898, Wolf's, observed by Mr. Hussey, of 
Lick Observatory, on June 16th, is very faint. 
Herr Thraen calculates that it passed its pere- 
helion on July 4th. Only observable with large 
telescopes. 

g 1898, discovered by M. Giacobini at Nice 
on June 18th, in the constellation Capricornus, 
moving towards the south-west. Prof. Kreutz, 
of Kiel, calculates that perihelion was passed on 
July 6th, its least distance from the sun being 
1 "59, earth's distance representing unity. Dr. 
Hartwig, on June 21st, described it as "round, 
about 2' in diameter, about equal in brightness 
to a star of the tenth magnitude, and having 
eccentric condensation." Its brightness is 
decreasing. 

Jupiter's Satellite I. is said to be distinctly 
elliptical, and measures have recently been pub- 
lished as below. 

Rotation 





Ellip- 


Period. 




Tele- 


Date. 


ticity. 


h.m. 


Observer. 


scope. 


Dec, 1892 . 


. 100 — no 


■■ '3-3 • 


. W. H. Pickering.. 


. 13-inch 


Oct., 1894 . 


. 108 — 120 


• • 13-3 ■ 


11 


. 18 „ 


Mar., 1S95 . 


. 104—120 


? 


. A. E. Douglass .. 


. 18 „ 


„ 1897 ■■ 


. 115— 130 


.. 12.25 8 . 


,1 


. 24 „ 



The Yerkes Telescope. — The first published 
work of the 40-inch refractor appears in No. 436 of 
"The Astronomical Journal." It is the results of 
a fine series of measures of the satellite of Neptune, 
by Professor E. B. Barnard. One of its eyepieces 
gives a power of 3,750 diameters. 

The British Astronomical Association holds 
its next meeting on the last Wednesday in October. 



go 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 




CONDUCTED BY J. H. COOKE, F.L.S., F.G.S. 

To whom Notes, Articles and material relating to Microscopy, 
and intended for Science-Gossip, are, in the first instance, 
to be sent, addressed "J. H. Cooke, Edlcstonc, Battenhall 
Road, Worcester," 

" The American Monthly Microscopical 
Journal." — The current issue contains, among 
other matter, articles on " Making Transparent 
Lantern Slides from Marine Specimens," " Micro- 
scopic Inspection of Pork for Export " and 
" Bacterial Diseases transmitted through Oysters." 

Bacteria on Bronze Implement. — Professor 
Nicholson found recently at Lewes a bronze imple- 
ment which had on its surface certain small 
excrescences. On examination he found that each 
of these formed a centre of oxidation of recent 
appearance. He scraped off and examined the 
material under a quarter and one-seventh inch 
objective, discovering that the oxidation was due 
to bacteria which swarmed in it. He asks for 
similar observations and a method of sterilization. 

Preserving Algae. ■ — To preserve without 
shrinking use Flemming's weaker solution to kill 
and fix the specimen (10 c. c. of one per cent, 
osmic acid, 10 c. c. of one per cent, acetic acid, 
25 c. c. of one per cent, chromic acid, and 55 c.c. 
of distilled water). Its use for from half-an-hour to 
twenty-four hours will not injure delicate tissues. 
Add 10 per cent, of glycerine, allowing each drop to 
diffuse before adding more. This will prevent the 
shrinking caused by diffusion currents if glycerine 
is added too quickly. Add the glycerine till the 
specimen is well covered, when the fixing solution 
has evaporated from a watch glass in which they 
are exposed for the purpose. Red algae retain 
their colour almost perfectly, but green algae lose 
more or less colour, although the chromotaphores 
retain their shape perfectly and the cells become 
clearer than in fresh material. 

Acetylene in Microscopy. — We have for some 
weeks past been experimenting with acetylene as 
an illuminant in microscopy and have found it to 
be an unqualified success. The light is so piercing 
and intense that even after being modified by the 
coloured glasses it reveals structures that are 
invisible by the naked oil flame. Some timely 
investigations in connection with this gas have 
recently been made by Professor Lewis. The 
phosphoretted hydrogen existing in the gas from 
commercial calcium carbide ranges in proportion 
from -6 to 2'oo per cent., but as experiment shows 
that a percentage of 8000 is necessary to form a 
mixture liable to spontaneous ignition, there can 
be absolutely no danger from this impurity. In 
one of the three types of generator now used, the 
temperature rose above 8oo° C. in thirteen minutes. 
At this high temperature benzine and tarry 
matters are produced, reducing the volume of 
liberated gas, and the type of generator is therefore 
recommended in which the carbide is allowed to 
fall at intervals upon a perforated tray submerged 
in a large volume of water. 



Reproduction of the Rotifera. — The current 
issue of " Natural Science " contains an interesting 
article by Mr. W. T. Caiman on " The Progress of 
Research on the Reproduction of the Rotifera," in 
the course of which the various theories as to what 
are the determining factors in evolution of sex are 
reviewed. 

Mucilage for Labels. — Gumarabic, 150 parts, 
tragacanth (pulverized), 7-5, glycerine, 450, thymol, 
03, alcohol, 375, water up to i20'o. Dissolve the 
gum arabic in 15 parts water, and the tragacanth 
rubbed up with 30 parts water. Mix the two fluids 
and strain. Next add the glycerine, and finally the 
thymol dissolved in alcohol. 

Double Colour Illumination. — It is possible, 
with substage condenser and iris diaphragm, to so 
light a diatom as to reveal the primary structure 
in one colour and the secondary in another. 
Heretofore workers have used cones of light greatly 
exceeding the aperture of the objective, or else 
cones very much smaller than the aperture of the 
objective. The former was on the dark ground 
principle, the latter involved diffraction. The 
"Microscopical Journal" now informs us that 
Mr. Rheinberg has found a plan for getting rid 
largely of diffraction colour effects, and for using 
any cone of illumination desired. Just as in low- 
power colour illumination on the dark ground 
principle, he places in the substage condenser one 
of the ordinary double-colour discs having a central 
spot of one colour surrounded by a ring of a 
strongly contrasted or complementary colour. He 
prefers a red centre and a green periphery. By 
means of the iris diaphragm, the relative pro- 
portions of the two colours are so regulated that 
in looking through the lenses the light appears to 
be of a neutral tint. This arrangement is suitable 
for use with high-power objectives. 

Microbes of London's Water. — In Sir E. 
Frankland's annual report on London's water, just 
published by the Local Government Board, some 
very curious details may be found regarding the 
extreme variability of the filtered product which 
is supplied to water consumers in the metropolis. 
Take for example the West Middlesex, which 
month after month supplies its customers with 
water of a high degree of purity, containing on one 
occasion only four microbes per cubic centimetre, 
and on another appearing to be absolutely sterile. 
Of what advantage, however, is this, if on another 
occasion the number amounts up to 120, and on 
still another to 576 microbes per cubic centimetre ? 
Something happened in the month of June to 
nearly all of the filters of the five companies 
drawing from the Thames ; all except the Southwark 
were smitten with a microbial epidemic in June, 
and even the Southwark had got it on the 2nd of 
the following month. Of the two companies 
drawing from the Lea, the New River alone 
escaped. So serious was the condition that, from 
the tables given to show the reduction of micro- 
organisms by filtration alone, we find that in one 
case 663 per cent, of the microbes passed the 
filters. From all of this Sir E. Frankland points a 
moral, and draws the attention of the companies to 
the enormous advantage of fine sand in securing 
efficient filtration. Some companies go to the 
trouble of using much finer sand than others, with 
apparently good results. Thus 18 feet of the fine 
sand of the New River Company and 275 feet of 
that of the West Middlesex are respectively more 
than twice as efficient as 4 feet of the coarser 
material used by the Chelsea Company. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



9i 



Mounting Uncinulas. — The quickest and best 
way to mount these beautiful fungi, says Mr. 
L. A. "Wilson, of Cleveland, is to preserve them 
unstained in glycerine jelly. They show best when 
temporarily examined in a drop of water, but jelly 
is the next best thing. Few prettier specimens can 
be found for a cabinet. Though generally unknown 
and unseen, it is almost impossible to pass through 
the woods without trampling them under foot. 
They are found on the leaves of grape, Virginia 
creepers, maple and elm. 

Preserving Media. — For diatoms : potassium, 
mecuric iodide, glycerine. Dissolve the salt in 
concentrated anhydrous glycerine. The refraction 
index of this medium is 178 to 180. For prepar- 
ing mosses for the herbarium use lactophenol gum : 
a strong solution of gum arabic in water (1), 
glucose (2) and lactophenol. For desmids : lacto- 
phenol copper solution. Crystallized copper 
chloride, 02 parts ; crystallized acetate of copper, 
02 parts; distilled water, 95-0 parts; lactophenol, 
5-0 parts. This preserves the chlorophyll. For 
fungi, mosses and algae : carbolic acid, 20 parts ; 
lactic acid, 20 parts ; glycerine, 40 parts ; distilled 
water, 20 parts. 

Animal Life Cycles. — Now that the ponds and 
lakes teem with aquatic life, our young micro- 
scopists should lose no opportunity of making 
themselves acquainted with the life cycles of the 
minute organisms they contain. To what end ? 
Because they afford material for the study of those 
processes in the multiplication of small aquatic 
organisms which is so essential a condition for the 
renewal and reinvigoration of higher forms of 
life. For example, the Infusoria, which are bred 
in the muddy sediment of ponds and streams, 
furnish food for the Crustacea, which in their turn 
are devoured by fishes. Considering that in places 
far removed from the sea, as is the case, for 
instance, in some parts of Germany, freshwater 
fish are held in great esteem by the people, we may 
construct a chain of living beings, starting with the 
tiny protozoon of the mud, and passing on from 
water-fleas to fishes, and finally to man, in which 
each depends for its existence largely on the 
individual next below it in the scale. The study 
affords food for thought. 

Current Literature. — The current issue of 
"The Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society" 
contains an illustrated article, by Mr. F. W. Millett, 
on " The Recent Foraminifera of the Malay Archi- 
pelago." Dr. T. Chartres White continues " A 
Few Notes on Micro-Crystallography," in the 
course of which he details his experiences in 
crystal making with hippuric acid, hydroquinone, 
picric acid and an aqueous solution of bichromate 
of potassium crystallized in a tolerably thick emul- 
sion of gum arabic. Mr. H. G. Madin has been 
experimenting with the object of finding some 
cement having the same index of refraction as 
Iceland-spar for the ordinary ray (viz., 166) and 
therefore suitable for use in certain forms of 
polarizing prisms made of that material. He has 
not yet obtained an entirely satisfactory material, 
but publishes the results of his efforts in the hopes 
that others will take up the subject. M. Jules 
Richards has been studying the freshwater fauna 
of the Canary Islands. His list embraces examples 
of the Phyllopoda, Cladocera, Copepoda, Ostra- 
coda, Polyzoa and Rotifera. As the islands are 
volcanic, the freshwater animals must have been 
borne thither by winds and birds. 



A Killing Liquid for Nematodes. — The 
following solution will be found effective : corrosive 
sublimate, alcohol seventy per cent, and a few 
drops of acetic acid heated to fifty degrees C. 

Multiplication of Bacteria. — At a lecture 
recently delivered at Mason College, Birmingham, 
Professor Percy Frankland gave some tables 
illustrating the extraordinary powers of repro- 
duction possessed by bacteria. From these it was 
shown that this increase took place from one in 
o hours to 280,000,000,000,000 in forty-eight hours. 
The form and appearance of these minute living 
organisms were such that they could only be 
ascertained with the aid of the most powerful 
microscopes. Viewed in their isolated condition 
these bacteria looked harmless and insignificant 
enough, but they presented a far more menacing 
appearance when seen engaged in their nefarious 
work, attacking in their millions the vital tissues 
of their victims, in which they elaborated those 
poisons which caused disease and death. 

Alfred Allen. — The death of the late Mr. 
Alfred Allen, of Bath, on the 24th March last, after 
a painful illness, has removed from an extensive 
circle of microscopists one who for more than 
twenty-five years did excellent work, especially in 
the microscopical field. He was one of the founders 
of the Postal Micro-cabinet Club through corre- 
sponding with Mr. A. Atkinson, of Brigg, who had 
inserted a letter in Science-Gossip, 1873, calling the 
attention of its readers to the desirability of form- 
ing such an association for microscopists, especially 
those who resided away from the various towns, 
and who would like an opportunity to be drawn 
more closely together. By the enterprise of Mr. 
Allen, the club was formed that year, and within 
six years more than 100 members had been en- 
rolled. Its name was then changed to the Postal 
Microscopical Society. Mr. Allen removed from 
Essex to Bath, and devoted his leisure time to the 
interests of the Society ; and until his death his 
self-denying labours maintained it in a very useful 
career. In 1882, as Secretary, he added to the 
utility of its work by publishing at monthly 
and quarterly intervals the journal which not 
only contained the records of the Society, but 
some very valuable scientific papers. This 
journal, although not financially remunerative, 
was to him a labour of love, and only on the 
failure of his health in 1897 was he obliged 
to relinquish his editorial duties. After fifteen 
years of literary effort, the last volume of " The 
International Journal of Microscopy and Natural 
Science " was issued. Mr. Allen was for many 
years a member of the Bath Microscopical Society, 
which has now ceased to exist. He filled the 
office of President, and contributed many valuable 
papers on entomological researches. We are glad 
to know that the friends of the late Mr. Allen are 
hopeful that someone connected with the Postal 
Microscopical Society is willing to become its 
Secretary and to carry on the very useful work 
which the late Secretary so ably prosecuted. — 
Richard H. Moon, Bath; July 18th, 1898. 

[The Editor of Science - Gossip offers the 
hospitality of its columns to the members of the 
Postal Microscopical Society, and Mr. Cooke, who 
conducts the Section of Microscopy, will welcome 
contributions from its members. There appears to 
be no reason why the office of this journal should 
not become the headquarters of that Society. Ed. 
Science-Gossip.] 



92 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 




Abnormal Geum. — I send you a specimen of 
water avens (Geum rivale Lin.) gathered near 
Bellerby, Yorkshire. You will see that a compara- 
tively perfect flower grows from the middle of a 
monstrous flower and takes the place of the carpels. 
— Frank Sich,junr., Niton, Isle of Wight. 

Pink Flowers of Bugle. — With regard to the 
colour of the flowers of the common bugle (ante 
p. 60), the " Student's Flora " describes it as blue, 
rarely white or rosy, and " Babington's Manual " 
also says, " fl. blue, rarely white." The pink- 
flowered form I have seen near Woodside and in 
woods near Addington, both localities being in 
Surrey. At the Addington locality, this colour- 
variation has come under my notice in different 
years. During the past spring I encountered the 
pink-flowered bugle in one of the home counties, 
but not having made any note at the time, am now 
uncertain of the locality. The white-flowered form 
is a very beautiful plant, and this I have gathered 
in woods near Addington and have also seen the 
same from Kent. — C. E. Britton, 189, Beresford 
Street, Cambeni'ell, S.E. 

With reference to Mr. Falconer's note (ante p. 60) 
as to Ajuga reptans with pink flowers, I enclose one 
of several plants which I found on the 19th June 
on the chalk hills above Luddesdown, Kent, with 
perfectly white flowers. This Ajuga was growing 
on a chalk plateau such as that described by your 
correspondent, Dr. Parsons (ante p. 41), where the 
chalk appeared to be covered with a " thin loamy 
surface soil." I remarked that in the same locality 
Polygala vulgaris was pink in colour, whereas on 
the harder upper chalk above Wrotham it was 
invariably a bright blue. — M. J. Teesdale, St. 
Margaret's, Thurlow Park Road, Duiwich. 

I have found pink flowers of bugle near Guild- 
ford, and also albinos of the same in Hereford- 
shire. — E. Armatage, Ross, Herefordshire. 

I found Ajuga reptans with pink flowers at Cran- 
brook, Kent, in 1881. At Littlehampton I have 
gathered a very pale pink variety of Cnicus lanceola- 
tus. White varieties of many red flowers are 
comparatively common, but as far as my experi- 
ence goes white varieties of flowers normally 
yellow are rare. The only example I ever found 
was a single plant of Crepis foetida, which had 
while blossoms just tinged with pink. At Mus- 
well Hill last year there was a plant of Leontodon 
aulumnalis with very pale lemon-yellow flowers, 
and I have noticed specimens of Anthyllis vulnenuia 
at Ilfracombe and Tenby with unusually light 
yellow blossoms, but these were not white. — 
/. E. Cooper, 68, Nonh Hill, Highgate. 

Flight of Swift. — It often appears to me as 
if the swift in flying moves its wings alternately, 
instead of simultaneously, like other birds ; but 
the motion is so exceedingly rapid that it is almost 
impossible to tell. Can any of your readers say 
whether this is so and has ever been noticed ? If 
it is the case, surely it must be known and have 
been remarked upon before ; but I have never seen 
or heard of such a fact. Can anyone account for 



the extreme paucity of swallows and martins last 
summer and again this summer ? There are hardly 
any to be seen in this district. — A. E. Burr, Bath. 

Localities for Tulip and Maidenhair Trees. 
— In reply to Mr. Martin's enquiry (ante p. 21), I 
can say that two good specimens of Liriodendron 
tulipifera (tulip-tree) are to be found in a nursery 
at Shamley Green, near Guildford, Surrey. The 
trees are quite close to the road and can easily be 
seen from it. — Harold S. Geihie, 11, Aden Terrace, 
Green Lanes, N. 

There are, I find, four tulip-trees in the Royal 
Victoria Park, Bath, two of which are in the 
Botanical Gardens, in which also is a small maiden- 
hair tree. There is a large one in a garden near 
Bath. It may also interest him to know that there 
are four specimens of another rare tree, the Judas- 
tree, in Bath, one in the Botanical and one in the 
Sydney Gardens, one in a private garden in Bath- 
wick Hill, and one, a very old one, in Holloway, 
overhanging the foot-pavement. — A. E. Burr, Bath. 

Both the tulip-tree and maidenhair tree grow at 
Brockhill, Broad Clyst, Exeter on the property of 
Mr. W. T. Bagne. Good specimens of both are at 
Sans Souci, a place at Lychett Minster, Dorset. A 
tulip-tree is also at Blount's Court, Oxon, belonging 
to Sir F. Knollys. At Brockhill many curious trees 
exist, the owner being particularly fond of trees, 
and of planting rare sorts. The liquid amber tree, 
a very curious and rare tree, grows in the garden 
of Col. Balkeley at Hare Hatch, near Twyford, 
Berks. — (Mrs.) Emily f. Climenson, Chugra House, 
West Cliff Road, Bournemouth. 

I saw a maidenhair tree a few years since in the 
garden of Mrs. Brightden, Stanmore, Middlesex.— 
J. W. Walker, Cefn Llys, Stanley Road, Watfoid. 

There are two tulip-trees growing in this town. 
One is in Horsham Park, the seat of Mr. R. H. 
Hurst, J.P. ; the other is in the garden of Holly 
House, North Parade. — Chas. J. Marten, Hon. Sec. 
Horsham Museum, 30, London Road, Horsham, 
Sussex. 

I have two fine specimens of tulip-tree here. 
They were planted at the beginning of the century ; 
the largest has a girth of ten feet.—/. C. Mansel- 
Playdell, Whatcombe, Blandford. 

We have specimens of both trees growing in our 
garden here. The tulip-tree is about thirty feet 
high, and the maidenhair tree, which is about 
eleven feet high, is just bursting into leaf. — Cecil 
}. T. Birts, Westwood House, Welling, Kent. 

Some few years ago 1 went to St. Osyth's 
Priory, where I saw a fine tulip-tree. There is 
another in front of a chapel in St. John's Road, 
Tunbridge Wells. I have a very small fern-tree in 
my garden.— S. Hatchard, St. Helena, The Common, 
Tunbridge Wells. 

There is a magnificent specimen of maidenhair 
tree, Gingko biloba, at Whitfield Court, Hereford- 
shire, which was planted by Lady Elizabeth 
Stanhope about 1775, and is therefore one of the 
earliest introduced to this country. There are 
fine tulip-trees at Coughton and Wilton, near 
Ross, and several gardens in the county have 
smaller specimens of each species. — E. Armttage, 
Ross, Herefordshire. 

Aquaria in Hot Climates. — I have read in 
Science-Gossip of fish having been kept for a long 
time in a 10-inch bell aquarium, so that the water 
need not be changed, and with very little attention. 
Being myself unsuccessful, with your permission I 
would ask any of your readers who have succeeded 
if they will kindly supply me with the result of their 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



93 



experience. My glass stands outside on a window- 
sill, which is shaded by a verandah. The thermo- 
meter in summer frequently registers above ioo° 
Fahr. in the shade, but the winters are very mild. 
A plant of Valisneria, kept for microscopic purposes, 
is growing vigorously ; but in about ten days after 
the two small fish have been added, the water 
becomes green and clouded, and the fish soon die. 
The choice of aquatic plants in this colony, where 
the summer is long and dry, is limited. Where 
the ponds are not kept full by artificial means they 
soon become dry ; and such plants as are to be found 
are coarse and unsuitable for a small aquarium. 
In the few ornamental pools that are accessible 
Chara can be obtained, and one or two other plants 
with small leaves, the names of which I am unable 
to give.— Will. Lathlean, St. Peter's, South Australia. 
Albinism in Flowers. — Among other cases of 
albinism which have come under my notice are : 
Ballota nigra, Calluna vulgaris, Ccntaurea scabiosa, 
Centrantlius ruber, Carduus acaulis, C. arvensis, C. 
palustris, Campanula rotundifolia, Dianthus deltoides, 

D. plumarius, Epilobium ayigusti folium, E. montanum, 

E. hirsutum. Erica tetralix, E. vagans, Erythraea 
centaurium,- Fritillaria meleagris, Gentiana campestris, 
Geranium pusillum, G. robertianum, Jasione Montana, 
Lamium purpureum, Lathyruslatifolius, Linaria cymba- 
laria, Malva moschata. Orchis mascula, O. morio, O. 
maculata, Ophrys apifera, Origanum vulgare. Prunella 
vulgaris (pink), Primula vulgaris, Pedicularis sylvatica, 
P. palustris, Papaver rhaeas. Salvia verbenaca, Scilla 
nutans, Scabiosa succisa, Trifoltum fratense, Thymus 
serpyllum, Veronica agrestis, and Vicia sativa. — E. 
Armitage, Ross, Herefordshire. 

White Skylark in Ireland. — A white sky- 
lark was shot in this district on December 27th, 
1897. There were only one or two grey feathers 
upon the bird. — John H. Barbour, Bangor, co. Down. 

The Cheese-ripening Bacteria. — The produc- 
tion of any desired variety of cheese by the 
introduction of the appropriate microbes is 
gradually becoming understood. The microbes 
flavouring the various cheeses have been isolated 
and cultivated by Dr. Olav Johan Olsen, of 
Norway, and by adding these cultures to cheese in 
a storeroom carefully guarded against foreign 
microbes, he has been able to produce the varieties 
from which he started. There are but few kinds of 
the microbes, but they may be combined indifferent 
proportions. The art has been sufficiently developed 
to be carried on commercially. — J. H. Cooke. 

Double Flowers of Cardamine pratensis. — 
A friend of mine, the Rev. W. S. H. Samler, 
remembers seeing, when a boy, a field full of 
Cardamine pratensis in the water meadow at Swallow 
Cliff, Wilts, in which double flowers were as 
numerous as single; and last season, while in 
Devonshire, fishing, he saw at Hemyock, near 
Tiverton, a similar instance of double-flowered 
specimens in the same plant. The double flowers 
were numerous over the field. He gathered some 
of them and showed me in a dried state. As 
instances of wild plants producing double flowers 
are rare and usually solitary, this wholesale occur- 
rence of them is well worthy of investigation, as also 
the tendency to produce them in that particular 
plant, of which a third instance was found by 
another gentleman this season in Yorkshire, near 
Darlington. — A . E. Burr, Bath. 

[The same form is frequent by the side of burns 
running into Loch Ericht on its north side. I 
have seen many double flowers of Cardamine pratensis 
in that district. — John T. Carrington.] 




CONDUCTED BY EDWARD A. MARTIN, F.G.S. 

To whom all Notes, Articles ami material relating to Geology, 
and intended for Sciknce-Gossip, are, in the first instance, 
to be addressed at 69, Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath. 

Croydon Water. — The long-protracted drought 
of the last nine months is having an unexpected 
effect upon the water supply of Croydon. This is 
partly drawn from the springs in Surrey Street, 
and partly from the chalk of the Addington Hills. 
Owing to the deficient rainfall, it has been deemed 
advisable to turn off the water between 10.30 p.m. 
and 5 a.m. The works which were carried on at 
Waddon by Messrs. Isler and Co. found water at 
42 - 8 feet from the surface, with a supply of ten to 
twenty million gallons per hour, but are in 
abeyance owing to local opposition. The bore- 
hole was situated near a farm at Coldharbour 
Lane, north of Waddon Station. Grey chalk was 
bored into at 227 feet. 

Geology of Eastbourne. -^ Having spent 
Whitsuntide at Eastbourne, a few notes on the 
locality may be useful to others, as I worked the 
different formations. The chalk, which is the first to 
claim our attention, forms the bold cliffs of Beachy 
Head. There are not many fossils to be seen, 
though they are more plentiful in the Lower Beds, 
where I found Inoceramus concentricus, Polyblastidium 
racemosum, Plocoscyphia mcandrina, Holaster sub- 
globosus, Glyphocyphosoma, Rhynchonella mantelliana. 
From the Upper Beds came Terebratula camea. 
Ventriculites radiatus. The Upper Greensand dips 
down near the Wish Tower, with the Gault under- 
neath, and rises again near Beachy Head. Fossils 
found are Rhynchonella latissima, Terebratula ovata. 
Ammonites auritus, Hemiaster, Pleurotomaria, Plocos- 
cyphia fenestriata, P. reticulata, Cucullaea cyprinia. 
The Wealden is exposed inland at Berwick and 
Polegate, where it is chiefly Weald Clay, the 
characteristic fossils being Cyrena media and 
Paludina elongala. — G. Fletcher Brown, 3, Topsfield 
Parade, Crouch End, N. 

South African Geology. — In vol. liv. part 1, of 
the "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 
there is an important paper by Dr. F. H. Hatch 
on the "Geology of the Southern Transvaal," 
accompanied by a geological map of the district. 
The outcrops of the various formations north of 
the Vaal River are shown ; to which the following 
designations are given. Karoo System : (i.) Transvaal 
Coal-measures (sandstones, grits, shales, fire-clay, 
and coal-seams). Cape System : (i.) Magaliesberg 
and Gatstrand Series (quartzites, flagstones and 
shales with igneous sheets) ; (ii.) Dolomite and 
Chert Series; (iii.) Black Reef Formation (quart- 
zite and conglomerate) ; (iv.) Banket Formation or 
Witwatersrand Series ; (v.) Hospital Hill Series. 
Archaean System (igneous complex of granite rocks). 
The outcrop of the auriferous conglomerate (Ban- 
ket) beds distinctly shown on the map, and the 
paper is likely to prove of great use to prospectors 
and others whose pursuit is not entirely that of 
geological study. 



94 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 




CONTRIBUTED BY FLORA WINSTONE. 

Cosmos (Paris, June 18th). This number con- 
tains the first of an interesting series of articles on 
the "Arms of Ancient Egypt," by M. E. Prisse 
d'Avennes. The weapons are described in the 
order of the dynasties under which they were 
used, and three illustrations are given, two of 
Seti I., nineteenth dynasty, and one of the chariot 
and standard of Rameses II. Dr. " L. M." writes on 
the treatment of fevers, comparing the present 
methods with those recommended by Hippocrates 
and others of an early date. An unsigned article, 
entitled " Le Lux," gives a description, with illus- 
tration, of a new generator for acetylene gas, lately 
invented by M. A. Bayan de Payeux. It does not 
appear to differ materially in its essentials from 
those already in use. Dr. Alexander Brian con- 
tributes a description of the traces of ancient gla- 
ciers of the Pliocene epoch recently found in the 
Apennines by MM. Sacco and De Stefani. There 
are four illustrations showing the formation. M. A. 
Duponchel has the second of a series of notes on his 
new theory on cosmogony, the subject in this part 
being the laws of the equilibrium of pressure and of 
the forces in the sphere of aggregation. (July 2nd.) 
M. Paul Combes gives a careful description of the 
progress of working the transcontinental telegraph 
in Africa. He illustrates his article with a map, 
showing how much is finished and what is in course 
of construction. Some notes on music, from the 
point of view of a physiologist, by M. Laverune, 
contains interesting accounts of the beneficial 
effects of music in illness, more especially in 
cases resulting from derangement of the nervous 
system. An unsigned article gives an account 
of a curious shower of "sulphur" which fell 
at Caumont, in France, on May 2nd. Micro- 
scopical and chemical analysis were made of 
the so-called sulphur by M. Signier, of the 
Botanical Institute, and by Dr. Louise. The 
result of their investigations was that the sub- 
stance was found to be pollen. The shower can 
be accounted for by the shape of the pollen, being 
peculiarly suitable for floating in the air. The 
shower of the 2nd of May followed a violent 
tempest in the South, but on the 1st of May the 
air was dry and warm with a moderate wind. 
M. T. Vazeux writes on the coins of Laodicea, 
illustrated with various specimens of the money in 
use at various times among the Phoenicians. 

La Nature (Paris, June 18th). The terrible 
disaster that recently occurred to the steamship 
" La Bourgogne " lends a peculiar interest to the 
commencement of the first article in this number of 
' ' La Nature." It was from this vessel some success- 
ful experiments were made with carrier pigeons to 
convey messages from vessels in distress. They 
were conducted by Captain Raynaud. Commandant 
G. writes on Cuba — especially Havana — giving two 
maps in illustration. M. E. A. Martel gives an 
account of the Harbours of Trayas, with three 
photographs. They are of almost as much interest 



geologically as artistically ; their formation being 
curious and their origin uncertain, though it was 
probably due to erosion or some other mechanical 
action. M. Henri Coupin describes the researches 
made by MM. Constantin and Matruchot among the 
mushroom family, with the object of finding some 
further species that would be edible. The result 
is that they declare Tricholomenu to be harmless 
and suitable for food. This species is known in 
certain regions, especially at Poictiers, as " little 
blue foot" (" petit-pied-bleu "). It is a winter 
species, developing and fructifying well in the cold 
weather. (July 2nd.) M. Albert Tissandier writes 
of the centenary of the Conservatoire of Arts and 
Crafts, which was celebrated on June 24th. The 
original plan of this Conservatoire is due to 
Descartes, who was anxious to establish a uni- 
versity where artisans and other craftsmen could 
be instructed ; but many years passed away before 
his desire was realised. It was on May 15th, 1798 
(26th Floreal), that the Council of the Cinq-Cents, 
acting on the report of Gregoire, decided to place 
at the disposal of the Executive Directory a great 
part of the ancient Priory of Saint Martin des 
Champs for the installation of a Conservatoire of 
Arts and Crafts. The article is accompanied by 
five illustrations of the plan of the buildings. 

Bolletino dei Musei di Zoologia ed Anatomia 
comparata della r. universita di torino 
(Turin, Nos. 311 to 319, 1898). A considerable 
portion of the space available in these numbers 
is occupied by an important paper by Dr. Ermanno 
Giglio-Tos. upon the Orthoptera from the rich 
zoological collection made by Dr. Enrico Festa 
in Ecuador, and presented to the Royal Zoological 
Museum at Turin. In all there are 206 species, 
72 being new, with 13 new genera. They are 
divided among the following families : Blattidae 30, 
Mantidaeg, Phasmidae23, Acrididae 56, Locustidae 
74, Gryllidae 14. The only illustrations with this 
paper are of a mantis, Phyllium geryon, showing the 
sexes. A further paper on the same collection 
deals with some additional grasshoppers -that are 
new, and described by Dr. Achille Griffini ; they are 
included in the families Gryllidae and Locustidae. 
There are several new species among these also. 
Sig. Carlo Pallonera contributes an interesting 
paper on the land and freshwater shells found in 
Abyssinia by General di Boccard. There are a 
few new species and a plate with thirty-one well 
executed figures. The other papers are on " Decapod 
Crustacea from St. Thomas, West Indies," by 
Signor Giuseppe Nobili ; on the small mammals 
collected by Dr. Borelli in Bolivia and Northern 
Argentina, by Mr. Oldfield Thomas. The district 
had been very little explored zoologically, so this 
collection of about twenty species, nearly half 
being bats, is interesting, though it contained 
nothing new. Dr. M. G. Peracca, of the Turin 
Museum, describes a new Italian Triton, or water- 
newt, new also to science, which he names Molge 
italica ; a new beetle (TJiermonectes alfredi) is also 
described by Dr. Griffini, from Bolivia and Argen- 
tina, with a figure. 

Bulletin de la Societe Philomatique de Paris 
(Vol. ix. Nos. 3 and 4). A paper on " Malaco- 
logical Notes," by M. J. Mabille, is concluded. 
M. A. Lecaillon's paper on "The Endoderme of 
Insects " is the most important in these numbers 
It is the result of work done at the Laboratory 
of Comparative Embryology of the College of 
France. 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



95 




The Selborne Society.— The members and 
friends of the Selborne Society (Croydon Branch) 
paid a visit to Hayes and Keston Commons on 
Saturday, July gth, the occasion being favoured 
with lovely weather. Under the leadership of 
Mr. E. A. Martin, F.G.S., and Mr. A. E. Parnell, 
the party also visited Caesar's Camp and the 
picturesque lakes in the neighbourhood, pushing 
on as far as the famous " Wilberforce Seat," where 
the great question of slave emancipation is said 
to have been discussed and decided upon by Pitt 
and Wilberforce. Tea was taken at Keston. The 
bracken, Pteris aquilina, was at its best on the 
common, and interspersed here and there were 
fine clusters of heather (Erica cinerea and£. tetralix), 
the common ling or heath (Calluna vulgaris) scarcely 
yet showing its blossoms. Dog-roses, honeysuckle, 
tormentil, mulleins, nipplewort, ivy-leaved lettuce 
(Lactuca muralis), yellow bedstraw, mountain 
groundsel (Senecio syvaticus), buck's-horn plantain 
(Plantago coronopus), and hoary cinquefoil (Potentilla 
argentea) were amongst the many flowers which 
were gathered. In the lakes the frogs were just 
taking to the land, many being seen with tails still 
unabsorbed. 

Hull Scientific and Field Naturalists' 
Club. — A large party of members of this club 
left Hornsea in waggonettes for Atwick and Skipsea 
Brough on the afternoon of June 18th. After a 
pleasant drive to Skipsea Brough the party alighted, 
and under the guidance of Mr. Boyle inspected the 
remarkable mound and earthworks for which the 
place is so famous. After a steep climb, the 
summit of the central mound was reached, and 
from this elevated position a good view of the 
surrounding earthworks and the general aspect 
of the country could be obtained. Mr. Boyle then 
gave a most interesting lecture on the antiquities of 
the neighbourhood in general and the earthworks 
in particular. It would seem that the Skipsea 
Brough earthworks were most admirably con- 
structed for what was in those days the most 
advantageous course to take during times of war, 
viz., a passive resistance rather than active aggres- 
sion. The most marvellous thing in connection 
with these earthworks is their enormous size. 
With such implements as the ancient Britons had, 
it can hardly be conceived how they laid out the 
plan and built the structure. Notwithstanding the 
fact that 2,000 years have elapsed since the erection 
of these works, they are still in good condition, 
and it is not at all necessary to draw upon the 
imagination in order to prepare a restored plan 
of them. A brief stroll was then taken in the 
neighbourhood ; the earthworks were again tra- 
versed and photographed, the members were taken 
to Atwick in waggonettes, and a very pleasant time 
was spent at that village. Mr. Morfitt and his sons 
took great pains to show their excellent collection 
of local geological specimens and antiquities. 
Such a collection is rarely seen, and doubtless 
Messrs. Morfitt have the best series of derived 
f ossils — that is, fossils from different rocks which 



are found in the Boulder clay — in this part of the 
country. The collection of agates, consisting of 
several hundred specimens, and some of enormous 
size and beauty, were well shown in large bowls 
of water. But the Liassic ammonites, nautili, 
saurian remains, bivalves and also the gorgeous 
examples of Speeton clay, chalk and other fossils 
excited the admiration of all. A large and beautiful 
series of Carboniferous limestone corals was ex- 
hibited. Of more recent date, though none the 
less interesting, were the mammoth, deer, horse, 
ox and other remains from the coast and peat beds 
in the vicinity. Foremost among them should be 
mentioned the perfect skull and antlers of a Cervus 
elaphus, which had recently been discovered in the 
peat near Hornsea. Amongst the antiquities were 
various examples of ancient pottery, stone and 
bronze implements, all from the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. After a substantial tea kindly provided 
by Messrs. and Miss Morfitt, the party visited the 
cliffs, which at this point are unusually high, in 
search of the recently-discovered boulder of Snap 
granite. The members then reluctantly bid adieu 
to their host, and after another pleasant drive 
reached Hornsea. The fine weather, together with 
the variety of the afternoon's work, rendered the 
outing most profitable and enjoyable. — T. Shcppard, 
Hon. Sec, 78, Sherburn Street, Hull. 



NOTICES OF SOCIETIES. 

Ordinary meetings are marked f, excursions * ; names of 
persons following excursions are of Conductors. 

CoNCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY, LONDON BRANCH. 

Aug. 6.— "Hampton Wick. Train leaves Waterloo 2.40 p.m. 
Hon. Sec, J. E. Cooper, 68, North Hill, Highgate, N. 

Geologists' Association of London. 

July 28 to Aug. 3. — ^Birmingham district. Prof. Chas. Lap- 
worth and others. 

Sept. 10. — *Gravesend, Kent. G. E. Dibley, F.G.S. 
Further particulars from Horace W. Mcncktcn, 
Hon. Sec. (Excursions), 10, King's Bench Walk, Temple, E.C. 

Lambeth Field Club and Scientific Society. 
Aug. 1.— *Leith Hill. 
„ 27. — *Epping Forest (in conjunction with E. London 
Micro, and Nat. Hist. Soc). 
Sept. 18. — *Caterham. 
„ 20. — t" Dew." (With experiments.) J. J. Denton. 
Hon. Sec, H. Wilson, 134, Abbeville Road. Clapham, S.W. 

North London Natural History Society. 
Aug. 1. — *Wicken Fen. W. Woodward. 

,, 4. — f" Notes on a Visit to South Africa." W. H. 

Barber. 
,, 6. — *Hayes, Kent. L. J. Tremayne. 
,, 18. — fDiscussion : "Alpine Lepidoptera and their 
British Allies." Opened by R. W. Robbins. 
Sept. I.— +" The Microscopic Inhabitants of a Stagnant 
Ditch." C. Nicholson, F.E.S. 
„ 3. — *Epping Forest. The President. 
„ 15. — tDebate: "Are the Man and the Monkey de- 
scended from a common Ancestor?" Opened 
in the affirmative by A. Bacot ; opened in the 
negative by B. S. lames. 
Oct. 6.— rPocket Box Exhibition. 
,, 20. — f" Buttercups and their Allies ; or, the Teachings 
of Systematic Botany as to Evolution." Prof. 
G. S. Boulger. 
,, 22. — *Visit to the Epping Forest Museum. Wm. Cole 
(Curator of the Museum). 
Nov. 3. — t" Henry Walter Bates : his Life and Work." L. 
B. Prout, F.E.S. 
,, 17.— tDiscussion : "The Origin of Migration in Ani- 
mals." Opened by J. A. Simes. 
Dec. 1. — t" Solitary Bees and Wasps." W. H. Smith. 
„ 15.— tGeneral Business. 

Visitors will be cordially welcomed at all meetings and 
excursions. Lawrence J. Tremayne, Hon. Sec, 

Lincolnshire Science Society. 

Sept. 3. — *Barkstone, for Syston and Belton Parks. Rev. E. 
Nelson, M.A. 

„ 21. — "Woodhall Spa : botany of the Moors ; glacial beds. 
Oct. 8.— *Torksey : Old Trent gravels. W. E. Asquith. 

Hon. Ser., G. A. Grierson, F.L.S., 312, High Street, Lincoln. 



9 6 



SCIENCE-GOSSIP. 



Nottingham Natural Science Rambling Club. 
Conductors of Rambles : 
Geology,]. Shipman, F.G.S. ; Botany, W. Stafford. 
Aug. 13. — *Botany. Meet at Emmanuel Church, Wood- 
borough Road, 2.30 p.m., for Lambley Dumbles. 
,, 27. — 'Geology. Meet at Sneinton Baths, 2.45 p.m., for 
Colwick for Bunter Pebble Beds, Keuper strata, 
etc. 
Sept. 10. — *Botany. Meet at Lodge, Waverley Street 
entrance, to examine Arboretum and Fater Her- 
barium at University Museum. 
Oct. 29.— t Annual Meetingand Exhibition, 4.15 p.m., Natural 
Science Laboratory, University College. 

H on. Sec, W. Bickerton, 187, Noel Street. 
Preston Scientific Society. 
Aug. 20.— *Brock Bottoms. 
Sept. 8. — *Ingleton. 

IV. Hy. Heathcote, F.L.S., Sec, 47, Frenchwood Street. 
Yorkshire Naturalists' Union. 
July 29 to Aug. 1, — *Easington for Spurn Point. 
Aug. 19.— fAnnual Meeting at Scarborough. 

METROPOLITAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES. 
The following is a list of societies in the London district 
devoted to natural science, with hours and places of meeting. 
They may be visited with introduction from a Fellow, 
Member, or Secretary. Will secretaries send additions or 
corrections. 

Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, 3, 
Hanover Square. Second and fourth Tuesdays at 
8.30 p.m., November to June. 
Battersea Field Club and Literary and Scientific 
Society. Public Library, Lavender Hill, S.W. Thurs- 
days, 8 p.m. 
City of London College Science Society, White Street, 
Moorfields, E.C. Last Wednesday in each month, 
October to May, 7.30 p.m. 
City of London Entomological and Natural History 
Society, London Institution, Finsbury Circus. Fiist 
and third Tuesdays, 7.30 p.m. 
Conchological Society, London Branch, St. Peter's 
Rectory, Walworth. Irregular meetings. Rev. J. W. 
Horsley, President, will answer enquiries. 
Croydon Microscopical and Natural History Club, 

Public Hall. Third Tuesdays, October to May, 8 p m. 
Dulwich Scientific and Literary Association. Fort- 
nightly lectures Lordship Lane Hall, second and fourth 
Mondays, 8.15 p.m., from October, for winter season. 
Ealing Natural Science and Microscopical Society. 
Victoria Hall, Ealing. Second and last Saturdays. 
October to May, 8 p.m. 
Entomological Society, ii, Chandos Street, Cavendish 
Square. First Wednesday, October to June (except 
January). Third Wednesday, January, February, March 
and November, 8 p.m. 
Geologists' Association, University College, Gower 

Street. First Friday, 8 p.m., November to July. 
Geological Society of London, Burlington House, 
Piccadilly. First and third Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 
November to June. 
Greenhithe Naturalists' and Arch^ological Society, 

7, The Terrace. First Fridays, 7 p.m. 
Lambeth Field Club and Scientific Society, St. Mary 
Newington Schools, Newington Butts, S.E. First Mon- 
days all the year and third Mondays in winter, 8 p.m. 
Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly. 

Fiist and third Thursdays at 8 p.m., November to June. 
London Amateur Scientific Society, Memorial Hall, 
Farringdon Street, EC. Fourth Friday in each month, 
October to May, 7.30 p.m. 
Lubbock Field Club. Working Men's College, Great 
Ormond Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. Excursions second 
Sundays, Meetings following Mondays, 8 pm. 
Malacological Society of London, meets in Linnean 
Society's Rooms, Burlington House. Second Friday 
each month, November to June, 8 p.m. 
Mineralogical Society. Meets in rooms of Geological 
Society, February 4th, April 14th, June 23rd, November 
17th, 8 p.m. 
Nonpareil Entomological and Natural History 
Society, qg, Mansfield Street, Kingsland Road, N.E, 
First and third Thursdays, 8 p.m. 
North Kent Natural History and Scientific Society, 
St. John's Schools, Wellington Street, Woolwuh. 
Alternate Wednesdays, 7.30 p m. 
North London Natural History Society, North East 
London Institution, Hackney Downs Station. First 
and third Thursdays, 7.45 p.m. 
QOEKETT Microscopical Club, 20, Hanover Square. First 

and third Fridays, 8 p.m. 
Royal Botanic Society of London, Regent's Park. 

Second and fourth Saturdays at 3 45 p.m. 
Royal Horticultural Society, 117, Victoria Street, S.W. 
Second and fourth Tuesdays, except December to 
February ; 2 p.m. on show days, which vary. 



Royal Meteorological Society, 22, Great George Street, 

Westminster. 3rd Wednesday, November to June, 8 p.m. 
Royal Microscopical Society, 20, Hanover Square. 

Third Wednesdays, October to June, 8 p.m. 
Selborne Society, 20, Hanover Square. No winter 

meetings. 
Sidcup Literary and Scientific Society, Public Hall, 

Sidcup. First and third Tuesdays, October to May, 8 p.m. 
South London Entomological and Natural History 

Society, Hibernia Chambers, London Bridge, S.E. 

Second and fourth Thursdays, 8 p.m. 
Sutton Scientific and Literary Society, Public Hall 

Chambers. Second and forth Tuesdays, 8 p.m. 
West Kent Natural History, Microscopical and 

Photographic Society. Meets in School for Sons of 

Missionaries, Blackheath, third Wednesday, in Dece'ii- 

ber, fourth Wednesdays in October, November, January 

February, March, April, May, 8 p.m. 
Zoological Society of London, 3, Hanover Square. First 

and third Tuesdays, 8.30 p.m., November to August. 

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or less. 

Wanted, live eggs, larvae and pupae of Bath white butter- 
fly (Pieris daplidict), bred or foreign, in their proper seasons. 
— Rev. H. A. Soames, Olford, Sevenoaks. 

Duplicates.— Amalia gagates, Limax agrestis, Sphaerium 
corneum, Pisidium amnicum, fontinale, pusillum, nitidum, 
roseum, Unio tumidus, Paludina vivipara, Helix hortensis, 
ncmoralis, virgata, caperata, etc. Desiderata numerous. — 
C. S. Coles, Hoe Moor House, Hambledon, Hants. 

Wanted, grass snakes or very small tortoises in exchange 
for Privet larvae or microscopic slides. — W. H. Gaze, 42, 
Stafford Street, Norwich. 

Good minerals and fossils from various formations in 
exchange for marine shells. Correspondence invited. — P.J. 
Roberts, n, Back Ash Street, Bacup. 

Slides of Rotifera. — Asplanchuopus myrmeleo.Conochi- 
lus volvox, etc., and some excellent zoological mounts offered 
for British and foreign slugs in spirit or living.— G. E. Mason, 
nb. Stanford Place, Fulham, London. 

"British Naturalist."— Several copies of vol. i. (New 
Series), all published in parts as issued, 15 plates, 300 pp , in 
exchange for works on biological subjects, or offers. — 
J. Cassin, 13, Grappenhall Road, Latchford, Warrington 

Offers requested for Crouch's student binocular micro- 
scope; best 2, 1, J, J-inch objectives by Baker, Steward, 
Watson, extra large polariscope, spot lens and stand, bull's 
eye condensor, double nose-piece and many accessories 
complete in best mahogany case ; a good useful instrument, 
in first-class condition; cost £25. — J. E. Read, 37. St. 
Stephen's, Norwich. 



5u JUL 98